Cover photo for Shirley Ann Lewis's Obituary
Shirley Ann Lewis Profile Photo

Shirley Ann Lewis

October 19, 1939 — March 18, 2023

The Amazing Life of Shirley Ann Lewis 1939-2023


Shirley was the oldest of four children born to Lois and Alvin Rozier in Danville, GA. The intense love she had for her family was also born in that tiny two-bedroom house. Her young life was full of love and laughter but also of hard work and heartbreak. She labored in the cotton fields and worked hard to help raise her younger siblings. She learned the true meaning of heartbreak when she lost her brother Randy, 16 years her junior, when he was just 17 years old; and after marrying at a young age, she learned what it was to struggle when she divorced while raising three young boys.


Shirley had several careers and excelled at all of them. She began as an English teacher and cheer instructor where she was loved by her students; worked on the base as a civil servant; sold jewelry at private parties and worked her way up to being President of the company, and eventually a corporate turnaround specialist when her company was purchased by Victor Kiam (the guy that liked the Remington razor so much he bought the company). After retiring once, she went into real estate and quickly became the county’s top realtor and broker.


It took a while, but Shirley eventually realized her soul-mate was her long-time friend, Keith Lewis. Their future was sealed when Shirley’s mother, Lois, found out that Shirley and Keith had gone out of town camping together – the fact that they had their six kids with them in a tiny pop-up camper had zero impact on Lois’s sense of propriety. Shirley and Keith were married in 1974 and their two families became one.


Shirley and Keith were role models to their family and friends. They adored each other and for 47 years you never heard either of them speak badly about the other. They clearly faced many challenges, but whatever they were, they faced them together and, because each valued the other’s happiness more than their own, their relationship was always a happy one. There is no doubt she brought out the best in everyone around her.


Together, the country girl from Danville, Georgia, and the small-town boy from Atlanta, Indiana, would move across the country (several times), and even a couple of oceans, and travel the world sharing more than twenty homes together. Among the places they lived were St. Louis, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dover (England). They vacationed at Lake Tahoe, traveled the Nile, visited the Pyramids, washed Elephants in Sri Lanka, flew on the Concord, visited friends in Japan, did business in Singapore and Australia, and traveled on the Orient Express. They visited beaches from Hawaii to Mexico, Aruba, Grand Cayman, the Bahamas, and more. They attended shows on Broadway, the West End, and the Moulin Rouge. In all they visited six continents and every state in the country. She enjoyed water skiing and playing golf while she was physically able.


It was not her worldly travels or her business success that defined Shirley – it was her love of her family and her friends. She worshiped her parents and her grandparents; and her labor of love was family gatherings. She insisted on several gatherings a year, and also insisted on hosting them even when her struggle to do so was real.


She loved children – hers and everyone else’s – more than anything. She said she wanted a dozen children, but God did her a favor and cut her off after allowing her three boys. Despite her desire for success, her children were always her top priority. She was the mother every child deserves.


She often said, “the only thing better than children is grandchildren.” She loved them all unconditionally and without limit. There is no doubt her happiest times were being with them and hearing them laugh and play. She took her children and grandchildren to beaches and mountains, on cruises, and to Disney and Universal; she took them skiing (snow and water) and skating (ice and roller); to fairs, circuses, and carnivals; to plays on Broadway, and to play with dolphins in the sea; and to see The King (of Rock and Roll). She took them everywhere she thought they would have fun, because her joy was seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing the excitement in their voices as they recounted their adventures of the day.


Her children often felt guilty because she took them to amazing places, but she rarely got to have fun – it is only as adults that they were able to understand her joy at simply being with her ‘babies’. One of the best examples of her unconditional love, and of who she really was, may be one of the last books she ever read. At 80 years of age, after learning that one of her grandchildren identified as non-binary, she purchased a book about understanding and supporting transgender and non-binary youth (a concept as foreign to her as Mayan hieroglyphics), as she was determined to understand and support her grandchild.


Shirley was the one her family and friends turned to when they were troubled, hurt or in need. She was the one you knew would never judge you, show you unconditional love, provide sound advice, and help you fix even the most embarrassing self-inflicted wounds. She would never divulge a confidence and she would never ask for anything in return – in fact she never asked for anything. She was the ultimate “giver”.


To her community she was a ray of sunshine and optimism. She was consistently cheerful and her belief in Biblical teachings compelled her to quietly help everyone in her path; and in doing so, she was strengthened by her acts of kindness. She often organized large charity events, but she was equally content to serve by delivering a meal or helping in any small way needed to help those less fortunate. She did so, not seeking gratitude, but because it was the right thing to do.


She genuinely believed everyone was special – and she had a grace about her that conveyed that belief. She was always grateful to have so many wonderful people in her life. Her love and our memories of her will be with us forever.


Visitation with Shirley’s family will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m., with a funeral service celebrating her life immediately following at 2:00 p.m., both at McCullough Funeral Home. Following the service, Shirley will be laid to rest next to Keith in Magnolia Park Cemetery. Dress will be casual/business casual.


Donations in lieu of flowers to The Masonic Home of Georgia would be appreciated.


Go to www.mcculloughfh.com to sign the Online Registry and share your memories with the family. McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Ann Lewis, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, March 25, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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