July 3, 1922 - October 20, 2017
Robert Earl Shirley Tupelo - The Rev. Robert Earl Shirley died Friday, October 20, 2017 at the North Mississippi Medical Center at the age of 95. Brother Shirley, as he was known by almost everyone he knew, was born in 1922 in the small town of Desoto in southeast Mississippi and spent his childhood in nearby Shubuta. He served as a statistician in the Ninth Air Force in England and Europe during World War II, reenlisting a few years later as a chaplain during the Korean Conflict. Brother Shirley graduated from Mercer University and New Orleans Theological Seminary and as the Vice President of the Mississippi Baptist Convention. He was married for 69 years to the late Lanelda Whelchel Shirley, with whom he shared a deep and abiding love and a firm commitment to Christian ministry. After leaving the Air Force, Brother Shirley served from 1956 until his retirement in 1987 as the pastor of Parkway Baptist Church in Tupelo. Following his retirement from the ministry, Shirley actively pursued his lifelong interest in drawing, contributing the weekly cartoon, Day by Day, to the religion section of the Northeast Mississippi Journal for more than a decade. His other interests included golf, which he played several times a week with friends until his health began to decline, collecting miniature cannons, eating lunch at Danver's Restaurant, writing poetry, the cartoons of Charles Schulz and Thomas Nast, the paintings of Norman Rockwell, the novels of Thomas Hardy, and the poetry of Robert Burns. Brother Shirley is survived by his daughter, Anne Brock of Birmingham; his son, David Shirley of Oxford; four grandchildren, Lynn Slaughter O'Neal, Cindy Crothers, Scott Slaughter and Mark Slaughter; five great-grandchildren, Shelly Butler, Dustin Franklin, Skylar Slaughter, Collin Crothers and Abby Crothers; and one great-great-grandchild, Reese Butler. He was preceded in death by his father, William Arthur Shirley; his mother, Lydia Shirley; his brother, Norman and Bill; his sister, Judy and Bernadine; and his beloved wife, Nelle. A viewing will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. Saturday, October 21, 2017 at W. E. Pegues, Tupelo. Services will be 4 p.m. Sunday, October 22, 2017 at Parkway Baptist Church with Bro. Matt Scopel officiating. Burial will be at Tupelo Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mercer University, 1501 Mercer University Drive Macon, Georgia 31207, in Brother Shirley's name. Expressions of sympathy may be made to www.peguesfuneralhome.com.
Robert Earl Shirley Tupelo - The Rev. Robert Earl Shirley died Friday, October 20, 2017 at the North Mississippi Medical Center at the age of 95. Brother Shirley, as he was known by almost everyone he knew, was born in 1922 in the small town... View Obituary & Service Information
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Robert Earl Shirley
Tupelo - The Rev. Robert Earl Shirley died...
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