All Souls Kansas City

Bill Schrimsher | August 15, 1940 – January 13, 2021

 Charles William “Bill” Schrimsher, age 80, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 in Bryan, Texas. 

From his birth on August 15, 1940, in Springfield, Missouri to his death on Wednesday in Texas, he made a lasting impression on everyone he met. Born to Charles and Geraldine (Esther) Schrimsher, Bill was the older of two children. By a very young age Bill showed talent as an artist. From drawing parodies of comic strips featuring family and friends, hand drawn greeting cards and even several commissioned art pieces, there was no doubt he had a true talent. Bill graduated from Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, Missouri, with a degree in Education and quickly put his love of art to work. He dedicated his career to teaching the younger generation about art and how to appreciate it. He retired after many years as an Elementary Art Teacher, most notably at Holden Elementary School in Holden, Missouri, and his former students share happy memories of their time spent in his classroom. In retirement, Bill volunteered many hours at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, and lovingly referred to it as his “job”. Bill’s second love was traveling, and it was one of the ways he stayed in close touch with his family. He cruised the high seas multiple times with his mother and Aunt Joyce (Esther) Clark among others. He took road trips and enjoyed local adventures with Missouri cousins. And he took frequent and often lengthy trips to California to see his sister and brother-in-law Leland and Ellen (Schrimsher) Elster and his niece Elizabeth, treating California as his second home and spending every Christmas holiday there. Bill shared a close relationship with his niece Elizabeth. He would fly to California just so he could turn around and personally escort her back to Missouri for a visit. His love of children was particularly evident during Elizabeth’s stays with him in Holden, where he would happily fulfill her repeated requests that he draw, in great detail, countless palm trees, unicorns, dragons and princesses. When Elizabeth (Elster) Porterfield married Kenneth Porterfield of Centerville, Texas, and Bill’s Great Nephew, Jacob Porterfield was born, Bill would lavish the same love and attention on Jacob and started spending every Christmas in Texas. Even as travel became more difficult for Bill, he made numerous trips to Texas for birthdays, anniversaries, and those memorable Christmases and finally his ultimate trip, to live with Kenny, Elizabeth and Jacob. 

Although never married, Bill maintained tight bonds with a close circle of family and friends from Missouri to Texas to California, who will miss his wit, generous spirit and perpetually positive attitude. Bill was proceeded in death by his parents and sister Ellen. He is survived by his niece, Elizabeth and Kenny Porterfield, great nephew Jacob Porterfield and many cousins. 

Bill’s final travels will take him back to Missouri where he will be laid to rest with his parents in the family plot at the Lebanon City Cemetery in Lebanon, Missouri. A memorial service will be scheduled as soon as it is safe enough for everyone to come together. 

Bill was an active and loved member of the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made by check to All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church of Kansas City, 4501 Walnut St. Missouri 64111, note on memo line, Bill Schrimsher, or through the following web page: select “Online Giving” then in the drop down menu select, “Give to Memorial or Celebration Recognition”, in the comments put Bill Schrimsher.

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Shared Memories

My heart breaks for the passing of Bill Schrimsher, a dear friend who I’ve had the pleasure to know, since 2016. Bill was a kind, lovely man, who accepted everything, and everyone as they were. From the time I met him, I just knew we would get along fine. I will never forget him, and he will be missed. – Johnathan Ross

Bill was a warm and cordial friend. I will miss the many times we gathered together to share our thoughts with laughter and joy as members of the All Souls Seekers (small-group ministry) of eastern Jackson County.  He was a generous and loving soul and such a gift to our UU family. – Jim Mitchell

My first memory of Bill is many e-mail conversations when we were doing MORE2 one-on-one conversations with All Souls members. He was out of town caring for his sister for some time. After many check-ins and brief email contacts, he was back here and we met in person. I immediately loved this warm, amiable person who always made me feel better when I saw him–even from a distance. I’ve been missing him even before COVID, and feel very sad today. – Roma Lee Taunton

Of course Bill always greeted me by name, volunteered in any way he felt he could, and manned the welcome desk a lot. I remember how would always compliment me after I did a reading saying, ” I really enjoy the way you do readings. Don’t give it up.” He was a kind, generous, and positive force. I will miss him. – Sue Trowbridge

My favorite memories of Bill was when he helped us out at “Harry Potter Camp” by donning a huge wig and beard to be Hagrid.  He was to the children a veritable gentle giant, always listening to them and treating them with the respect and kindness with which he seemed to always treat everyone.  We are diminished by his loss. – Barbara Griggs

I always looked forward to seeing Bill at Church Sundays and serving on the Caring Committee with him. His warmth and fellowship went out to all he knew. As a service moderator, Bill was welcoming to friends and visitors. He and my late husband, Lowell, shared their love of art together. Bill will be greatly missed in All Souls’ congregation.Phyllis Westover

As he was always a welcoming and helpful man, he was an important part of making our church a special community for so many in the KC Metro area. I am glad we may be able to be in touch again through a service some months down the road.Carol Fields

I came to know Bill through All Soul’s in the early 90’s. He truly lit up wherever he was with his warm, welcoming smile and sparkling eyes. Unassuming, kind, witty, gracious, a true joy to know him and be in his presence. What a gift he was.Megan Monroe

Bill was one of those people I liked to speak to chat with. In the process it made me feel even better, and my intention had been to make Bill feel good. I will miss him.Ken Yager

I have known Bill for many years at All Souls. He was a Moderator at the Sunday Services at All Souls and was a model for me when I became a Moderator. Bill was a good friend and is missed.Don Dickey

Bill’s love for people — his generous devotion to each person moment to moment — was a reliable comfort. When our son Chase was in All Souls’ Coming of Age program he got to have Bill as his mentor and he and we as a family got to know Bill’s kindness and wisdom. A jovial soul who kept managing to find a package of the rare Red Velvet Oreos to share because he knew they were Chase’s favorite.Joe Robertson

Any exchange with him was always a pleasure. He humbly gave service and care in meaningful ways that will forever stick with me. I am grateful for all he shared with us.Dave Black

Bill volunteered in many ways at All Souls and he always was kind and generous when you encountered him. Often served as moderator at our Sunday service and was always a gracious presence. He will be greatly missed.Diane Cassity

I was just getting to know Bill at All Souls when the pandemic cancelled our in-person services. Bill was already on the service coordinator team when I joined, and until I got the hang of what I was doing, he was always nearby, ready to assist or to answer my questions. I looked forward to seeing him on Sundays and had hoped to get to know him better. I am sorry that opportunity has passed. He was such a nice man and I know his friends and family are missing him deeply.Andrea Warren

I looked forward to talking with Bill on Sundays. He always greeted me with kindness and encouragement. As a service coordinator he was willing to step in and help with anything needed. I will miss him.Kathy While

I believe that Bill exemplified the best of our community — because on Sundays and at the desk during the week he was always welcoming and always pleasant. I missed him anytime he wasn’t there at the welcome desk or serving in Conover and we have been blessed to have known him.Evelyn Maddox

One of my favorite parts of volunteering at All Souls was a chance to visit with Bill. I liked to come in early so we could talk about weather, church events, teaching, cooking and books. When I sorted books for the annual church book sale I was always on the lookout for authors I thought Bill would like. Any time my sister and I cooked at church Bill was supportive. When we gather together at church once more Bill will be missed. Tuesday will not be the same.Sharon Cassity

Bill and I always had an easy, pleasant exchange when we met at church from time to time. He was one of those folks who just put me at ease, and made it easy to talk with him. Bill was a valued member of our congregation, and I will miss seeing him.John Blevins

A wonderful man. Always a pleasure to spend time with. Grateful for his many services to All Souls and as a teacher. A delightful, wonderful man to know. He added much to our community. Will miss his smile, his greeings, his warm voice.Charles Downing

I didn’t know Bill well but I remember him as a familiar, smiling presence, often sitting in the lobby just outside the doors to Bragg before services. He was always pleasant and kind— the type of person with whom anyone would be glad to share a Sunday morning chat. I’ll miss that.Peg Maher

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