Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shirley Joan Fleetwood

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband
also, and he praises her: 'Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.' Charm is deceitful, and beauty is
vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Proverbs 31:28-30

Shirley was always there for her husband, Paul (Bob), and
her children and children-in law, Mike, Debby, Tandy, Kent,
Laurie, Derrill, and Becky, and her grandchildren and
grandchildren-in-law, Paul, Carolyn, Daryl, Emily, Andy,
Bobby, Joel, Billy, Tyler, Hattie, D.Jay, Julie, Anne, and
Kinsey. When they got up in the morning, when they went to
bed at night, if they came home sick, if their heart was
breaking, if they had a joke that needed telling, when there
was a triumph to report, Shirley was there to listen, console,
laugh, rejoice, and pray with them.

She and Bob were teenage sweethearts, and they had
a lifelong love affair. During their 55 years of marriage,
they taught strong Biblical and family values to their
children and grandchildren. Their relationship has been
a model Christian marriage and a picture of the relationship
between Christ and His Church.

Shirley taught all four of her children to read and write
before they entered school. She taught them to play games,
and she did her best to beat them every time. The Famous
Shirley Shuffle will go down in family lore. She spent hours
without number sewing doll dresses, clothes, and dance
costumes, cooking wonderful meals, and creating a beautiful
and clean home, so that her family would feel the love she
had for them.

Traveling was always fun for Shirley. One of her favorite
places to visit was the home of her brother David and his
wife Dori. They enjoyed driving up and down the California
coast together and chatting about childhood days.

Her family by marriage, the Fleetwoods, became through the
years her own family. She considered Opal to not only be her
mother-in-law but to be her friend. Jim, Jenny, Ken, Bill,
and their families were a big part of her life. Together
they all shared both tears and laughter.

She made friends wherever she went, knew no stranger, and
her emotions were open, upfront and honest. Shirley was a
walking icebreaker. Everyone's day was brightened because
of her.

She loved spending time with her church family and Pastor
John. John and Shirley had a White Elephant joke that
lasted for years. The girls at the sewing circle have
also been her fun companions. Perhaps not a lot of sewing
has been accomplished, but certainly a lot of friendship
has been shared.

Shirley loved to give her time and money to important
causes. She was a faithful member of the Hwy K Firehouse
and the Sheltered Workshop Board. She donated freely to
anyone she knew that had a need. But her great love and
consuming passion was God and His work of salvation,
therefore her time spent in volunteering at church and
in missions was very precious to her. Through the years
she has hosted dozens of missionaries in her home, but
it wasn't until she was 69 that she took her first official
Mission Trip. After returning home she said, “I can't
believe I waited until I was this old to start going on
Mission Trips.”

Since trusting in Christ as her Savior and Lord, Shirley
has been looking forward with anticipation, confidence,
and joy to her first moment of being able to finally see
Christ face to face. We miss her, but we rejoice with her
in entering this reality.

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also
am known.” I Corinthians 15:12 “Then the King will say to
those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world.'” Matthew 25:34

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