Nelson-Berna Funeral Home and Crematory

4520 North Crossover Road, P.O. Box 8982, Fayetteville, AR

Phone: 479-521-5000

Shirley Joan Lucas

Fayetteville, AR

1935 - 2018

E-mail   |    Print    |   Comments

Published: January 24, 2018

Shirley Joan Lucas (Stanberry), 82, died peacefully surrounded by her family on January 22, 2018 at the Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Shirley was born June 12, 1935, in Fayetteville. She is one of the first 8th Grade graduates of St. Joseph Catholic School in 1950. After graduating from Fayetteville High School in 1954, she earned her Nursing diploma from St. Edward's School of Nursing, Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1957. She then returned to Fayetteville and married Andrew Lucas. Together they moved to Texas where Andy was employed by Gulf Oil. After a short 3 years in Texas, Andy was hired by the University of Arkansas Alumni Association, so they settled back in Fayetteville and raised five children. She continued her nursing career at Washington Regional Medical Center, earning a Nursing degree from the U of A, and working her way up to become the Head Nurse of Labor and Delivery and then Head Nurse of Obstetrics-Gynecology.

Following a successful 31-year nursing career, Shirley's love for the Fayetteville community led her to become active in city government. Shirley and Andy began working polling locations within Fayetteville's Ward 4. She served as the Position 1 Alderwoman for Ward 4 from 2003 to 2010. Shirley was also devoted to the St. Joseph and St. Thomas Catholic communities. She and Andy spent many hours volunteering for fund-raising events such as the St. Thomas Phone-a-thon. Over the years, Shirley and Andy enjoyed traveling to visit their children in different locations around the country and world. She was an avid Razorback fan and rarely missed home football and basketball games.

Shirley's favorite quote was "Start each day with a happy thought and prayer. It will last you all day." She had many significant accomplishments, including pioneering the Birthing Suite concept at Washington Regional Medical Center, which enabled fathers to be part of the birthing process. She co-sponsored the bill that banned smoking in Fayetteville restaurants, worked with the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), and sky-dived on her 80th birthday. Lastly, Shirley and Andy received the Papal Benemerenti Honor from Pope John Paul II in 2003 for a Life Time of Service to the Catholic Church and Family.

One of her greatest joys was watching her five children graduate from the U of A and continue on to successful careers in the Army, Pharmaceuticals, the Air Force, Hospital Administration, and High School teaching.

In addition to five children, Shirley has nine grandchildren and one great-grandson. Shirley is survived by her husband, Andy of over 60 years; children, Andrew Lucas III of Fredericksburg, Va., Ernest Lucas of Maumelle Ark., John Lucas of O'Fallon, Ill., Cathy Spalding of Sellersburg, Ind., and Thomas Lucas of Pflugerville Texas; and sister Phyllis Rueff of Nashville, Tenn. She is preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Argie Stanberry; sister, Helen Marie and brother, Ernest Stanberry Jr; and grandson, Will Lucas.

A rosary will be recited on Thursday, January 25th at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fayetteville with a visitation to follow until 8 p.m. Funeral services will be at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fayetteville at 1 p.m., Friday, January 26th. Private burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery in Fayetteville. A reception will follow the funeral at the Butterfield Trail Lodge.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Joseph Catholic School or the St. Thomas Annual Fund. To sign the online guest book please visit

Registration is required to make comments. Click here to LOGIN.
You can register for FREE to post comments and receive alerts.