Shirley Jane Woods was born December 18, 1934 to the late Robert Stuart and Louise Elgy (Carter) Wiley. Shirley was the eldest of four daughters and surrendered her all on Monday, June 11, 2012 at Evergreen Healthcare Center.
Shirley was born and raised in what is now the Bronzeville neighborhood and attended Doolittle Elementary and graduated from Wendell Phillips High School. There she met her beloved husband, Melvin. During the early years of their marriage, Shirley decided to join the workforce. She started her career at Johnson and Johnson in January of 1966. She started as a packer on the "Band-Aid" floor. Shirley quickly gained a reputation for being a hard worker. "Packers" as they were called, earned production bonuses for their productivity, of which, Shirley was consistently recognized as one of the top performers. She often related how the machine operators wanted to work with her because she learned how to keep the machines up and running. Her diligence and hard work paid off as she was quickly promoted over the years to a Supervisory/Management role, to which she retired in October 1992.
Shirley was an avid reader. She often retold the story of how her mother Louise repeatedly admonished her for "reading and listening to the radio" at the same time. As an adult, one would often find Shirley "listening to the TV and reading" or doing a crossword puzzle. She said it kept her mind sharp. Shirley loved to listen to the blues. She enjoyed blues greats Bobby Bland, B.B. King, and others. She and Melvin loved to travel as well as regularly getting together with family and friends.
Shirley was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and sister. She and Melvin were inseparable, their marriage spanning over fifty years. Together they raised five wonderful children - Denise Marie, Larry David, Melvin Jr. (Kathleen), Debra Louise, Stuart Carter (Essica); her sisters - Merle Edwards, Barbara Craig, and Patricia Harris will miss her dearly. She also leaves treasured grandchildren- Doriane, Alexis, Shauna, Ryan, Auston, Antony, Robert, Ciara, Megan, Jessica and Layla; also great grandchildren - Sheldon, Jaden and Emma. She also leaves to mourn her many nieces, nephews and friends, many of whom called and visited her regularly, especially during the time of her illness.