March 28,1938 - May 10, 2020
An Appalachian share cropper’s daughter and the oldest of 10 children Shirley came from humble beginnings brought up with strong Faith and family values. Leaving home at 17 to be the first in the family to attend and graduate college,
She had a diverse and adventurous life. As a young adult she left north Georgia and the family farm behind to head north. Strong minded and driven with an exemplary work ethic, she didn’t hesitate to go out on her own and experience life. Leaving her farming upbringing behind she took an intern position in Washington DC at the Pentagon.
Always growing and expanding her experiences and knowledge she went on to a diverse teaching career that spanned her entire life.
From the very beginning Shirley was always dedicated to caring for and helping others, striving to make the world a better and brighter place.
A devoted wife for 52 years to Baptist Minister, Doyle Eugene Oliver, they had two children together, a daughter Sheri Teresa Marsh and a son Chris Eugene Oliver.
As a dedicated selfless wife and mother Shirley did not limit her gifts of service to home and hearth.
From years of teaching, volunteering every year at the polls and even after retirement, continuing in Christian Service teaching English to American immigrants by the hundreds for over 20 additional years, her door and heart were always open to any who needed her. Through her long life of service to others and unending love she extended her family circle across the nation and the world.
Her hobbies included sewing and a love for gardening that brought beauty and joy to many who shared her passion for flowers of every shape, size and color. Her love of gardening provided her additional opportunities to reach out to others and share the remarkable diversity of her expansive garden and wealth of knowledge.
Loved and respected by all who knew her for her kind smile, warm hugs and tireless dedication this diminutive but remarkable woman will be missed by all.
Shirley is survived by 8 brothers and sisters and their extended families across multiple states.