Let the joyful and generous spirit of Shirley be with us forever. May we carry it forward.
  • 83 years old
  • Born on March 17, 1936 .
  • Passed away on April 8, 2019 .

This memorial website was created in memory of our mother, Shirley Shirrells. 83 years old , born on March 17, 1936 and passed away on April 8, 2019. We will remember her forever.

Posted by Maurece Chesse on May 28, 2019
To me an internet tribute to my wonderful mother seems odd as I haven't' yet bought into the internet as a personal value on such an emotional issue as saying good bye to the most powerful influence in my life. I will miss my mother dearly and always remember her influence, her love and her feedback and our arguments at every point in my life... It's a personal thing between my Mom, my sister and myself....that's all I have to share but Thank you for also remembering how wonderful she was!! I was generally the one behind the camera and it was always a joy to capture the moments when I could.
Posted by Keniece Barbee on May 21, 2019
Shirley was (is) my Great Aunt and to me everything about her was indeed Great. Her laugh, her huge personality, her advice, her smile and most of all her unconditional love. She took me all over, dressing me up so I would fit in at all the fancy places she was singing or just visiting. My Aunt Shirley was and always will be that light spot in my life that I could focus on during dark times, especially in my childhood years. In my eyes she was perfect in every way and I will miss her terribly. Love you Aunt Shirley.
Posted by Connie Beasley on May 11, 2019
I'm a cousin from IL. Just learned of our loss of Shirley, so very sorry for all of of us here. She was a light of her own. Connie
Posted by Cecile A on April 24, 2019
If you wish to donate to a cause on behalf of Shirley, I have selected the following project with the mission of empowering black women to take informed care of their own health and advocate for policies that enhance their health statewide. https://www.cabwhp.org/
Posted by George Anderson on April 23, 2019
Shirley was always ready to help, share, accept and love. These gifts found limitless beneficiaries. We were more than lucky to have been able to enjoy and prosper from her life.
Posted by Lynn Mayer on April 23, 2019
Shirley opened the door for me to be in the Career Center. She was a positive and influential person to work for. She was patient, kind, and Women of God and I know that she is with the lord.
Posted by Cecile A on April 22, 2019
I weathered many of life's ups and downs consulting with my mom, from before college, during my college years, through my early career and even into my own middle age as a community college professional. Her intuitive skills, the magical way she could read people, her creativity, her effortless cooking, all enriched my life. For those who know MBTI personality preferences, she was a true ENFP: a free spirit, charming, independent, energetic and compassionate; an advocate. Mom had a grand style--she loved art, huge comfy furniture one could nest in, and loved to find treasures in thrift shops and antique shops with which to decorate her home. We loved loading up and trekking to visit Mom when she lived in Nipomo and Palm Desert. She was the perfect grandmother, not only taking Perry and her buddies out hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and mani-pedis, but she took Perry to Ixtapa and Cabo San Lucas for lovely beach trips. To our chagrin, as she advanced in age, Mom was a rolling stone. She said she'd gotten used to it after living as a military wife. We'd move every few years then. After leaving the desert, Mom wanted to keep moving to the next intriguing location... She even had a short stay in Santa Barbara, which was just too far away when she needed help with something. I remember schlepping the 90" drive to help her with this or that. As dutiful children, Maurece and I would pack her up and set her down in a new place. Even after we settled her in a senior community here in Pasadena, her eyes would lock onto new condos and apartment buildings that we'd pass by in the car, wondering out loud what they were like inside! Mom suffered for about 20 years with pain from a fall at work that caused serious injury to both of her shoulders. Her ability to live with pain for so long showed me how strong she was. Even now the thought of that constant pain wets my eyes. She survived a heart attack from last July, but never fully recovered at her advanced age, and died from complications related to that. What a fighter she was, but ultimately decided she'd had enough. "I've lived a good long life, longer than my mother and father and sister," she said. We gazed at each other, then, for a very long time as I started to weep. She gave me a kiss that I will always remember. My brother and I were busy fussing with getting her tv and cable box into her bedroom where she finally agreed to lie down in the hospice hospital bed that she didn't like. She went to sleep (or transitioned) while we were trying to keep the noise down, and didn't wake up. I love you dearly, Mom. You were an amazing woman.
Posted by Marian Quaid-Maltagliati on April 22, 2019
Although we were in different departments, I always enjoyed working with Shirley. She had a wonderful smile. I have thought of her often over the past several years, and wished her well. She loved her family fiercely, almost as much as she loved her music. But family was her first priority and know that she will always be in the air around you. With Deepest Sympathy.
Posted by Celia Mellad on April 21, 2019
Shirley took me under her "wings" shortly after my arrival in Santa Maria in the early 70's to begin working as a Clinical Social Worker. She became my anchor in that city where I knew no one. She not only included me in numerous social and professional events in and around Santa Maria but also made me feel like I was a part of her family. I will never forget the many weekends I spent with her, her immediate and extended family members and close friends. Her love for family, generosity, selfless dedication to those she served career wise, determination to live a rich an authentic spiritual life and wisdom beyond compare have all deeply impacted my life and the lives of countless others. Only wish I could be half the human being she truly was. Thanks for the unconditional love and great memories you gave me Shilrl. I will keep them near and dear to me. May your legacy endure forever. Cecile and Maurece, thanks for sharing your Mom with me and a host of others like me.
Posted by Al Cunningham on April 20, 2019
Getting to know Shirley was a delightful by-product of Cecile's marriage to my high school buddy, George. She was always a delightful asset to every social setting; I realize now that Perris christening in Chicago may have been the last time I saw her. I appreciate the extent to which Cecile's sharing of more recent photos brought me more up-to-date, and I'll look for any photos I may have in which she's included.
Posted by David Hernandez on April 19, 2019
I never had the opportunity to meet Shirley, but as a career counselor at Allan Hancock College's Career Center (formerly Career Job Placement Center) I am very thankful to be part of the legacy that was started by her. The Career Center continues to thrive and expand services to thousands of students each year. She planted that seed, which turned into a bridge between academia and industry for the Santa Maria Valley. From the Allan Hancock College Career Center team, we would like to send our thoughts and prayers. Thank you Shirley.
Posted by Cecile A on April 19, 2019
This will be a work-in-progress for me. So please return when you think about it as I will invariably add to it as I discover photos and remember stories. Mom was a touchstone for me through all my life. I can only hope that I was the same for her as she began to rely on me to take care of her.

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