Shirley Jane Taylor, 87, passed from this earthly life on January 11, 2021 at her home in Shawnee, Oklahoma, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
She was born on October 13, 1933, in Panola, Oklahoma to Luther and Thelma Woolbright. She grew up in many small towns in eastern Oklahoma. Her dad was a schoolteacher, coach and administrator and the family moved often. She played basketball while in high school and graduated from Howe High School in 1950. She attended college for 3 semesters at Southeastern State College in Durant, Oklahoma.
On March 16, 1952 she married the love of her life, Eddie Taylor. They were married for 56 years until his death in 2008. Shirley was a stay-at-home mom while their 4 children were young. She had to carry the role of “mom and dad” many times, as Eddie’s civilian work for the United States Air Force took him away from home for sometimes weeks at a time. She was always able to handle any and all situations that came up while he was gone on his trips. Her Christianity and her family were the most important things in her life, and she made sure all of their children grew up knowing and learning to love our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. Her life centered around her faith and making sure all was taken care of in their home. She was baptized into Christ when she was a young teenager and served the Lord all of her life, including teaching children’s bible classes and always being willing to prepare food for those in the congregation when the need arose. She had been a member of the Dale church of Christ for the last 44 years, and dearly loved that congregation. Shirley enjoyed spending thousands of hours watching her boys play football and wrestle and her girls play basketball, always reminding them to “Remember whose you are”.
In 1977, she and Eddie decided to move from Oklahoma City, where they had lived since 1952, to the small town of Dale, Oklahoma. By this time, their 2 sons were in college and 2 daughters were well up in school, so she decided to go to work for Dale Public Schools as a teacher’s aide in the special education classroom. She loved working with these children and helping them learn as much as possible. She retired from Dale School in 1995 and for the remainder of her life she enjoyed traveling with Eddie until his death and going to visit their grandchildren and great-grandchildren as much as possible.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and her grandson, Kyle Lewis.
Those loved ones left behind to cherish her memory are her 4 children and spouses, Kirk and Sherri Taylor (Broken Arrow), Kent and Julie Taylor (Jasper, Missouri), Kelly and Marty Lewis (Bethel Acres), and Kristy and Pat Swafford (Tecumseh). Also, her grandchildren, Garrett and Erin Taylor, Landon and Blaze Taylor, Chad Taylor, Chase and Sherrill Taylor, Rachel and Mat Williams, Jason and Megan Swafford, Luke Swafford, and Katie and Nate Miller; as well as 7 great-grandchildren, Natalee, Ty, Weston, Peyton, Reese, Cy, Cal and 2 more on the way. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law, L.W. “Dub” and MaryLynn Woolbright; and numerous nieces and nephews; and many other family members.
Visitation will be 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2021 at Cooper Funeral Home. Service will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 16, 2021 at Highland Church of Christ, Tecumseh, OK. Interment will be 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 17, 2021 at Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK under the direction of Cooper Funeral Home of Tecumseh. Masks are encouraged, but not required. Please join the celebration of Shirley’s life through Cooper Funeral Home’s Facebook page for live streaming of the service.
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