Raymond Shirley, Jr., 75, of Causeyville, went to be with Jesus on Sunday, October 16, while hospitalized at Anderson South in Meridian, Mississippi.
Funeral services will be held at Hebron Baptist Church on Saturday, October 22, at 2 p.m. with Dr. Richard Wallace officiating. Friends, church members, and the community are invited to the visitation with the family at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, at the Hebron Baptist Church sanctuary, 4795 Vimville Causeyville Road, Meridian, Mississippi. Burial in the church cemetery will follow the funeral services.
Survivors include his guardian, "Tiny Irene" Shirley of Causeyville, Mississippi, and his aunt, Louise Culpepper of Meridian, Mississippi. He's also survived by his second family (Virginia Shirley Brown’s children, their spouses, and her grandchildren), many dozens of cousins by birth and their marriages, and all the Tim’s cousins he adopted along the way.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond "Houston" Shirley, Sr. and Mamie Watts Shirley. He is also preceded in death by his second "mother" and guardian, Virginia Shirley Brown. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hebron Baptist Church at 4795 Vimville Causeyville Rd., Meridian, MS 39301 or Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 377 Co. Rd. 464, Meridian, MS 39301. Messages are welcome on the online register at webbstephens.com.
Raymond was born March 8, 1947, in Mobile, Alabama, and grew to love the beach early in life. Raymond's parents later relocated to California where Raymond worked in a workshop for several years.
After his parents retired and moved to Mississippi to live close to their family, Raymond enjoyed spending time camping with his Culpepper cousins along with swimming and participating in Special Olympics. When his parents died and Virginia became his guardian in 1999, he lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, for three years before returning to live in the Causeyville area full-time. With his second family, he traveled many miles, loving every minute of his adventures. He conquered his fear of heights while ascending to the top of the Sears Tower, saw the sights in San Antonio, and enjoyed boating on the lake in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Even with his physical limitations, he didn't miss much. His most recent trip was in April to Gulf Shores with his cousins. Raymond loved the holidays and celebrations of any kind -- any day can be a holiday. He attended many weddings, graduations, and other special events.
With his unique perspective, Raymond relished telling a good story. He never met a stranger and treasured each relationship with his many family members. We can't count the number of times he talked about his cousins and always said, "I'm part of this family too." With a great memory, once you entered his tribe, you were in for life.
Raymond knew how to celebrate life, and he taught us well. Cake should always be eaten with ice cream. Wear all your favorite t-shirts. Take a lot of naps. Tell everything you know to everybody. Say "I sorry" and "I forgive you" when you mess up. Always wanting to know when he would see you again, he would ask, "Did you miss me?" And we always will.
Raymond fought multiple health problems in the last few years. A special thanks to the many family members who helped out on numerous occasions with Raymond’s care. We find comfort in knowing Raymond has found his relatives in heaven and is rocking in his chair on the front porch, grinning from ear to ear while using his long-coveted cell phone. And he always knows where his wallet is. We hope Virginia didn't have to take any of his dollars away due to things we aren't aware of, so he has a few to spare just in case ....
It took a village to take care of Raymond. Along with Dr. Wesley Bennett, his cardiologist, many thanks to the team at the Cardiovascular Institute of the South. The family is eternally grateful to Dr. William Reid, Mary Ann Ward (Raymond's nurse practitioner), and the Internal Medicine Clinic staff for the care provided during the last 20 years. The family is also thankful for all the staff at MIDD Meridian for many years of kindness and service. He was very proud to have been named Employee of the Year in 2018. We also appreciate the care provided in recent years by his caregivers with the Angels Home Care Services. In addition to being his caregiver, Glory Daniels was the love of his life and became part of our family too.
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."