Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Seems So Long Ago

By Jerry Gaudet

It seems so long ago…

And yet, maybe it was just yesterday…

When two became one…and we drove off into a new and wonderful life…

When our lives were flush with color…all the photos were in black and white. Now that we have color photography, we’re the ones that are gray…

How wonderful to grow old together…and celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary at Niagara Falls.

Thank you Pat!

(That's beautiful, Jerry. Congratulations!  -Ed)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Frances Plyler Passes

 From the Charlotte Observer

Frances Plyler Best

Mrs. Best, 74, of Charlotte, formerly of Warsaw, passed away Monday, October 11, 2010 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Mrs. Best was born in Charleston, SC on December 27, 1935 to the late Edward Plyler and Edith Hahn Plyler.

Mrs. Best worked as a nurse for many years before becoming a nursing instructor. She taught nursing at Central Piedmont Community College of Charlotte and James Sprunt Community College of Kenansville for numerous years

Mrs. Best is survived by daughters, Rebecca Stephens and husband Warren of Indian Trail, NC, Edie Adams and husband Kirk of York, SC and Mandy Allsbrook and husband Doug of Rocky Point, NC; brother, Edward Plyler and wife Pat of Charlotte, NC; sisters, Evy Smith and husband Bob of Concord, NC and Julia Dagenhart and husband Ron of Harrisburg, NC; ten grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Best was predeceased by husband George S. Best Jr.
Published in Charlotte Observer on October 14, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lookabills Celebrate 75th Birthdays

LaGena (Lookabill) Green shares word that "We recently celebrated both of my parents' 75th Birthdays! My brother, Gene, and I are so thankful to God for their love and lives."...

Happy birthday to Jackie and Gene!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How I Became a Blue Bird

Maybe it’s the TV influence or something, but my grand kids had no problem at age 6 making the transition from home to school for the first time.  Whereas for me, the first grade was a frightening experience.

When my Mom dropped me off at Elizabeth School that day in 1942 I was convinced that I would never see her again….and that life for me had changed forever.

Of course, I did see her again, but I was right about the second part.

Yeah, I cried. But, so did some of the others.

But it didn’t take long for me to get used to the idea of going to school every day and, after all, there were only 12 more years to go.

After a few days, I was even starting to like school. Especially playing games with my new friends at recess….eating lunch in the cafeteria…and getting to know a few…….girls! (Yes, even then!)

Then, one day, it happened.

Miss Chalk gave us our first test! The kids were to be divided into three groups: Red Birds, Blue Birds, and Yellow Birds. She didn’t tell us the reason for this, but it didn’t take us long to figure it out.

The smartest kids would be RED BIRDS

The less than smart kids would be BLUE BIRDS

And…….you get the drift.

It all hinged on our first test!

She handed out the paper…..and read each question out loud….so we would all understand exactly what we were to do.

The only question I remember was the first one. But that was the only one it took to label me for the rest of my days at Elizabeth School, and perhaps the rest of my academic career… a BLUE BIRD.

Frankly, I blame it on Miss Chalk's southern accent.  -Ed

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ed Sanders Media Center to be Dedicated

By Frank Clontz

On October 29 Ed Sanders will be honored at the new Rocky River High School in Mint Hill, NC. The Media Center will be dedicated to him in honor of all his work during his years with the Charlotte/Mecklenburg School System. There will be a large photo of him placed in the Media Center that already has a plaque and other things dedicated to his work over the years.

Students in media center
Those attending will be fed a lunch, however they will need a count of those that plan to attend. Mr. Sanders and his family will be there for the ceremony that will take place at 12:30 PM. Since it will be a teachers workday the students will not be on campus which will make it much easier for visitors to park and make their way around the school.

The location of the School is 10505 Clear Creek Commerce Drive which is off the Matthews-Mint Hill Road just off Albemarle Road. The actual name of the main road, Highway 51 in that section is called Blair Road.

All Central High students are welcome. Should any of the CHS54 members plan to attend it would be appreciated if they would send an email to in order for him to get an estimate of the number. Hopefully we'll get a decent number of our students to attend as we were trying to get CMS to name the school after him.

It is a long story but CMS will not name a school after anyone still living but with all the work involved we were able to get the Media Center, about 10k sq ft named after him. -FC

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The grand kids were over again this weekend...

"Gather round, boys and I’ll tell you about that Sunday afternoon your granddaddy played before an almost sellout crowd in Memorial Stadium….."
“Wait a minute, Grandad. Professional teams play on Sunday afternoons, not high school teams.” remarked grandson #1.

"That’s right, son. It was a professional game.

Jimmy Weller
We had a very impressive team; fleet-footed Jimmy Weller was the left end, 6 foot tall Barry Clark was the right end, our Fullback was the Heisman trophy winner……."(unfortunately, it was at this point in my story when the last grand kid wandered off . Kids these days must have short attention spans.)
Barry Clark
Anyway, I’ll tell you the rest of the story.

Grady Harmon

 Our fullback was the Heisman trophy winner Tom Harmon’s nephew, Grady Harmon.

Wilson Snell

Wilson Snell held down the center of the line.
We were one heck of a tough bunch of 5th graders.

Back in those days there were very few, if any, “organized” teams….at least not organized by adults. We organized ourselves. Our opponents were boys who lived about 6 blocks away and had their own team.
Bobby Burris

Pete Burris was quarterback, Bobby Burris was center, John Kilgo was tailback…..we went head to head just about every day in Independence Park on those cool autumn days in 1947.

It occurred to me that the people of Charlotte would enjoy seeing our brand of exciting football, so I took it upon myself to call the man listed in the Charlotte Clipper programs as the “owner” or director or something like that and let him know about the 5th street team and the Caswell Ave team. (This was an early manifestation of the fact that I’ve always had more nerve than sense.)

But Lo and behold, he said he thought it would be a good idea!

So two weeks later we were seated on a small bench next to the Charlotte Clippers waiting for halftime to show Charlotte what exciting football was really all about.

Once we began playing there was a little bit of a letdown…because it was obvious that the crowd was more interested in heading for the snack bars and restrooms than watching us play.

Nevertheless, our 10 minutes of fame that afternoon and sitting on the bench next to real professional (semi pro) football players was an unforgettable experience.

Plus, we learned several new words.


Friday, October 15, 2010

and One More Thing

There was one member of the 5th Street team that I failed to mention. And that’s a fellow who came all the way from east 7th street to be a part of our organization. And he was a valuable addition too.

His only problem was his name. Now, there was nothing wrong with it, it was just that we were never were able to get a good handle on exactly what it was.

His name was Don………..”Mayoneze….or Mayoreeze….or Mayanees…..” whatever it was , it didn’t compute with any last names we had ever heard of.

A few years ago it occurred to me that his name was probably Hispanic…..which would have been Menes…or Menees.

I searched the Piedmont annual………to no avail. I searched the AG annual……and there was no Don Menes….there either. There was no Elizabeth school annual so I was pretty much at a dead end.
Until, my Piedmont friend Dick Ratcliffe sent me the Charlotte City Schools Teacher directory for the years 1943 and 44.

There, I hit paydirt! In the list of teachers at Elizabeth school was a Fourth grade teacher named Mrs Julia Bell Menees…..and she lived at 1933 East 7th street!
That had to be Don’s mother!

It’s too bad it took so long to determine the correct spelling of his name, because before our 5th street team’s big game during halftime of the Charlotte Clippers game…..I was asked to send the Clippers a list of our players so they could insert it in their programs. There was no time to consult with the other team members, besides I knew how to spell all their names……except Don M’s.

But I knew (almost) how to pronounce it. So I went to the refrigerator and found the solution.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that somewhere out there one of those programs still exists….with all the names of the 5th Street Team….Wilson Snell, Jimmy Weller, Barry Clark, Ed Myers, Grady Harmon and ……….Don Mayonnaise.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Remote Viewing

Normally, a day or so after our monthly LDL event I post pictures of the festivities. But our ace reporter/photographer Jerry Gaudet is off this week celebrating with wife Pat their 50th wedding anniversary in Niagra Falls!

And so far no other LDL attendees have sent in any snapshots of the occassion. I was afraid that might happen, so I read up on "REMOTE VIEWING 101" as well as "OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCES EXPLAINED IN ONE EASY LESSON."

I ordered both these books from the Coast to Coast radio program with George Noory (see previous post.)

I think I mastered both techniques pretty good.......

As I floated over Jimmies of Mint Hill....last Tuesday.......I could actually see our group enjoying a typical LDL lunch........This is what I saw.........I think you'll agree that Remote Viewing really works!

Oh shoot! they sent me the wrong book. Instead of REMOTE VIEWING 101.....I mastered TIME TRAVELING 101. -Ed

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Body Shop

Often times I wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep. Whenever that happens, I’ll turn on the radio beside my pillow. It never takes more than about 15 minutes of listening to lull me back to sleep.

This happened the other night and the show that my radio was tuned to was “Coast to Coast”…the show Art Bell created. They’re always talking about the super natural world such as UFO's, Big Foot, Shadow People, Out of Body experiences etc…..the kind of stuff that will put you to sleep in a New York minute.

Seems like they were talking about horror films and suddenly I hear a caller say something about a Charlotte North Carolina filmmaker named Harry Joyner!

Suddenly I was wide awake. The caller was saying Joyner never got the recognition that he deserved as an innovative movie maker, and sighted what he said was a 1973 ground breaking horror film titled “THE BODY SHOP.”

I remembered that Martin Hill had worked with Harry back in those days so I called Martin and he confirmed that Harry had indeed made a movie called “THE BODY SHOP” and in fact, Martin was the photographer for that movie. He even had character parts in several of Harry’s other films!

Searching the internet, I found this post:

Harry Joyner Under appreciated pioneer of film

"……You're very right about Harry. I too knew him and considered him a wonderful talent and a great man. He owned his own company and gave me my first job in my field. It was always an adventure there, one day you might come to work and find him bulding a model city out of cardboard boxes. The next day he might have been hosting a local filmmaker, and you'd find yourself watching the edits.

I lost touch with Harry, but saw him much later on the David Letterman show. He had made his own how-to movie about how to create special effects on your own home movies. Letterman showed portions of the video, didn't have Harry on his show directly. In Harry's inimitable style, perhaps a disdain for perfection, he sits behind his desk in his study, talking to the camera about whatever special effect he had demonstrated. While filming, the phone started to ring. Instead of stopping, answering the phone, or even unplugging it, Harry IGNORES it, just lets it ring. Letterman starts yelling at the tape, "Answer the phone! They're trying to order your video!" The audience howled with laughter! 

Wow, just realized it's been 10 years since the world lost Harry. What a poorer place the world is. Miss you, Harry!

I'm not sure who wrote this, but I agree that we miss Harry too!  Especially his sense of humor.
 A LOVE story?   -Ed


Cinematography by
W. Martin Hill

Film Editing by
Harry M. Joyner

Saturday, October 09, 2010

At HomeROOM in Mitford PIEDMONT

One of my oldest grand kids, Ed, is in the 9th grade this year. That's kinda hard to believe, because it seems like it wasn't that long ago when this 74 year old Ed was in the 9th grade at Piedmont Junior High.  Heck, I can still name almost everybody in my homeroom.

Well, the girls anyway.

I'm sure psychologists have an explanation for that, but every psychologist I ever met was nuts; besides, you and I already know why 9th grade "men to be" think like they do.

Coach Edelman was my homeroom teacher and as you can see there were a number of real good looking "women to be" in that class. In my opinion, one of the prettiest was Janice Wilson, the last girl on the right in the second row. Unfortunately, I was too shy to try and get to know her better.

That was too bad because Janice Wilson, writing under the name of Jan Karon, became my wife's (and millions of other American's) favorite author! She has written almost 25 best selling novels, the most popular of which is her "Mitford Series." Jan moved from Charlotte after her Piedmont years but had she stayed she would have been a member of our class.

I feel sure that Warren Sparrow, Billy Mason, Neil Jones and the other CHS54 lawyers will agree with me that a mere technicality will not deter us from bragging about "our" famous writer!

This is what Jan said in a recent interview:

"What a journey it’s been! Many years ago, I stepped out on faith, walked away from a hard-won, very successful career, and followed my heart—and a calling I’d felt since age ten—to become an Author. Did I sit down and write a novel that became an overnight bestseller? No, it didn’t happen that way. There were many tests along the way, and, in all honesty, some moments of despair—but also a lot of prayer. 
One night as I lay in bed, I had an image of an Episcopal priest walking down the street. Then a local newspaper publisher said he’d run a weekly column of Mitford vignettes. Those columns grew slowly into a novel, At Home in Mitford. After a lot of “no’s” elsewhere, one day my publisher, Penguin, said “yes.” And then something truly humbling started happening: readers started recommending my books. So do you think I love my readers? You bet I do! "

So now that we've claimed her, maybe she'll show up at one of our monthly LDL luncheons!

But, if not, she'll be on a book tour soon in connection with her latest novel, IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS and maybe she'll come to our area.......and we can get an autograph!


Friday, October 08, 2010

Believe It Or Not

The grandkids were over last weekend and they wanted to know if I had any more of those made up ‘tall tales” about when I was growing up in Charlotte.

As you know, I can’t seem to convince them that my stories aren’t “made up,”

They’re true.

I admit they’re not your run of the mill “granddaddy stories” ( Detroit Lions playing football in the vacant lot beside Elizabeth School….My Football back up was a world record breaking athlete…My English teacher rode horses standing on his head…..etc.) but there was nothing about growing up in Charlotte North Carolina in the 40’s and 50’s that was “run of the mill.”

So, I told them to have a seat and I would tell them about singing on stage in Madison Square Garden and the time I was on Television…almost BEFORE anyone ever had a TV set….and in fact, Charlotte and most every other city in the country didn’t even have a TV station!

Around 1947 the Charlotte Rotary Club decided that they would create and sponsor a "Boys Choir." (My guess was this was inspired by the Mormon Tabernacle Boys Choir....which was highlighted on WBT every Sunday morning.) Anyway, they asked all the Charlotte public school music teachers to pick several of the "most musical boys" from their schools to be asked to join the choir; which was to be called THE CHARLOTTE BOYS CHOIR.

Ed as Charlotte Boys Choir Member
One of the big incentives offered to us was that we would be paid a quarter to practice every Saturday morning at the Central High School music room. Plus, at the end of the year, they planned to take us to New York City to participate in a concert at Madison Square Garden.

I guess entertainment was pretty hard to come by back then. However, we were passably OK. About the only kids I remember from the choir were Van Faulk who was a year ahead of me and Don Harris. Don was the best of the boy singers and he was given a solo part......where he dressed up as a cowboy and sang "I'm an Old Cowhand." That usually brought the house down.

Well, we took the train up to New York in the Spring of 1948 and, sure enough, we sang in Madison Square Garden. While we were in the big city, we were invited to be on TV!   None of us had ever seen TV before, but I was pretty sure it existed because there was a small input jack at the bottom of our big Philco floor model radio that the salesman had told my dad was where the TV screen was to be plugged in once it became available.

One of the earliest TV shows in the country… was being produced live out of NBC called "Ripley's Believe it of Not." The audience for this show could probably fit in a small room, because there were very few TV sets….even in New York City.

How we fit into the “Believe it or Not” format, I'm not quite sure, but we did sing a couple of tunes while trying to look angelic. The guest before us was a WW2 pilot who had bailed out of his plane......and survived even though his parachute hadn’t opened!

 Although I barely remember seeing him, Robert Ripley himself hosted that show….and in fact, I later read where he had collapsed and died right after the 13th show in that series. I hope the show we were on wasn’t that fateful 13th.

I wish my grandsons had stayed around to hear that story, but as usual, their eyes had glazed over and they had wondered off earlier…..about the time when their granddaddy said he was going to sing in Madison Square Garden.


Footnotes: Robert L. Ripley

Robert Ripley and wife
Robert LeRoy Ripley (December 25, 1890 - May 27, 1949)[1] was an American cartoonist, entrepreneur and amateur anthropologist, who created the world famous Ripley's Believe It or Not! newspaper panel series, radio show, and television show which feature odd 'facts' from around the world.

In 1932, he published the first cartoons of a little boy from his home town of Santa Rosa, California, about a beagle dog. That boy was Charles M. Schulz (1920-2000), best known for his strip, Peanuts.

A collector of all kinds of "junk," including a Chinese junk, it was said by his ex-wife, "either the junk goes or I go." She went.

-Billy Jack Long, Educator and tubist. (A tubist is a Tuba Player-Ed)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Jerry's 50th

Talk about "backing into a headline!"

 We learned that our ace reporter, CEO of our class records, chief gluemaster of the class of 54 and all around good guy, Jerry Gaudet and his lovely wife Pat will not be attending this month's LDL extravaganza ........because their kids are sending them to Niagara Falls to CELEBRATE THEIR 50th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!

 50 toots of our vevuzela to Jerry and Pat!

Meanwhile, this month's LDL will be held Tuesday October 12th at Jimmies of Mint Hill. The theme will be CHS FOOTBALL MEMORABILIA!
Mary Sue will be there as Hall Monitor to make sure you enter through the locker room door.

Hopefully someone will email some pictures of the event to your handsome, award winning, humble webmaster.

Feel free to bring a friend !


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Millie Fogle Stanton

By Jerry Gaudet

We are very sorry to receive word that Millie Fogle Stanton has passed away...

Millie Stanton, 74, passed away peacefully in her home on September 29, 2010 with her family at her side. A long time resident of Santa Ana, CA, Millie was born in Norway, SC. She attended Central High School in Charlotte, NC and Furman University in Greenville, SC.
Millie Fogle Stanton

She is survived by her devoted husband of 53 years, Jim Stanton, 3 daughters (Lynn May of Santa Ana, CA, Cindy Stutesman of Sacramento, CA and LaDonna Langwell of Ridgefield, WA) and 4 grandchildren. She was an avid bowler & golfer as well as an exceptional homemaker with a passion for gardening & cooking.

Millie continued to battle extremely aggressive Periteneal Cancer for two years after extensive surgery in 2008.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Connie Mack Children's Home, PO Box 1178, Greenwood, SC 29648 or the American Cancer Society.

Memorial Services will be held 10:30am October 16, 2010 in the Samsvick Chapel of Calvary Church, 1010 N. Tustin Ave in Santa Ana with a reception immediately following at the Santa Ana Elks Lodge.

For further information please contact:
Lynn S. May (Millie's daughter)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Jennie to be Senator Jennie for 4 More Years

By Jennie Margaret Meador Forehand

Senator Jennie Forehand
Bill and I had hoped to come to Charlotte for the "LDL" lunch this month....but we may have to wait for another time. Actually, I have been v-e-r-y busy for the last six months ---- knocking on doors and running for re-election to the Maryland Senate. My opponent was a former State Representative who ran an ad implying that I was "too old." That really energized me! She wanted to be a State Senator so she could then run for Congress. (My colleagues did not want her back!) In addition, my seniority (now 32 years---16 in the Maryland House and 16 in the Senate) is very valuable, and my colleagues, staff, and community leaders convinced me to run again (they didn't have to "twist my arm" very much). Anyhow, it was a long hot summer ---knocking on doors and meeting new voters, but the primary election was Sept. 14, and I won!!! So, after minimal opposition Nov. 2, that means I will be in the Senate for another four years.

 Jennie suggests that perhaps we should have a CHS '54 reunion in Annapolis, Maryland --- which she says is a great place for tourists--lots to see and great places to eat! She adds that she could get a good group rate at the downtown historic hotel where she stays during their 3-month legislative sessions.  -Ed


and the WINNER IS...

 By Nancy Grayson

I won a shiny red top -of -the- line Vespa at a local Italian restaurant which I frequent. The Vespa had been in the window for about 6 months and there was a jar into which everyone who bought something- a meal or a bottle of olive oil- could put a bill with their name and phone number.

Nancy and members of the Vespa Club
I got a call on Aug 26, two days after my 74th birthday, that I was the winner and I was invited to the restaurant's 25th anniversary dinner the next night. I went and had a ball! I was treated like a celebrity and there were some members of the Montreall Vespa Club there who were giving me advice about driving a Vespa in Montreal traffic (AS IF!).

Talk about life being full of surprises, it ain't over til it's over, and all that! Now I am trying to sell it and use the money for a trip (to Italy?)!…

To contact her:
Nancy Grayson
4542 Old Orchard Ave.
Montreal P.Q. H4A 3B7


Terrific story, Nancy. Frankly, it looks like it would be a lot of fun.  But NOT in Montreal traffic! -Ed

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Dancing with the Sociables

By Jerry Gaudet

We are at an age when many people are slowing down and settling in. Not so for Holly and R.L. Clark as attested to by their recent greetings and best wishes from Fairfield Glade, TN.

Holly and R.L. dance with the “Sociables”…

“Holly and I belong to a Dance Club called the "SOCIABLES" and we have 4 dances yearly. Most of them are formal. The picture below was taken of us at the previous dance. Retirement living in “The Glade” is anything but sedentary. One can be as active as he or she wants to be or can be a hermit if so desired. We do not know many hermits! We have 5 golf courses, consequently we spend a lot of time chasing that "little white ball". My daughter and her family live in Huntersville so hopefully we will be visiting her when an “LDL” is on tap.
Best Regards,
R.L. Clark”

They can be contacted at:
Holly and R.L. Clark
115 Havenridge Cir.
Fairfield Glade, TN 38558


Up Date

By Jerry Gaudet

This information is from Judy and Tony Thomas in response to inquiries about their daughter, Evelyn...

"A quick update on our daughter Evelyn:

First, a sincere thanks to all of you who have sent Emails and messages. Love you all.

After visiting Duke, we found out that the doctor will take her case and plans to operate on November ll. She has to undergo another tortuous week of chemo starting Monday (Oct. 4) which will knock her out of son's wedding on the 9th because during that time is at her worst. Although this is a hearbreaker, in view of the whole picture we are thankful that the doctor offers us some hope but of course not a guarantee. Till then we will be plugging along as usual. Thanks for your thoughts, wishes and prayers. I will try to keep you undated.

Judy and Tony"

They can be contacted:
Judy & Tony Thomas
158 Tetbury N.E.
Concord, NC 28025


Saturday, October 02, 2010

50th for the Cooks!

By Jerry Gaudet

Jim and Joan Cook
We almost missed it! In talking (via email) with Jim Cook, word of his 50th Anniversary, celebrated July 10, 2009, came to light. Here are a couple of pictures taken at that celebration…

Jim and Joan with family
Jim adds that he “thinks of the years at Central High School often and the friends he had there and feels we are where we are today by the grace of God and His love for us.”

They can be contacted at:
Jim and Joan Cook
3132 Shelly Graham Dr.
Graham, NC 27253-8247


Friday, October 01, 2010

Good News from Djiboutti

 Remember the story we wrote about Jessica, Betty Rose and Lou's super grandaughter ..(Mrs. Jessica Palomba Siemer )
..who was  serving our country as a contractor for the United States Air Force...stationed in Djiboutti, Africa?

Well, Betty Rose informs me that she will be flyiing home Saturday, Oct. 8th, after completing her 6 month assignment.

Betty tells me how proud she and Lou are of her!

And we are too!!!

Betty says that she will continue to live in Seattle, Washington and finish up her duties until she completes her five years. She and her husband, Tim, are both in the Air Force.


Shirley's obituary from the Charlotte Observer

Shirley McClanahan Maynor

Shirley McClanahan Maynor, 74, of Charlotte, passed away on Sunday, September 26, 2010 after a long illness.
Shirley was raised in Charlotte and graduated from Central High School in 1954. She was a longtime dental receptionist later earning her real estate broker license. Shirley was a realtor in the greater Charlotte area for 30 years spending most of that time with the Allen Tate Company in East Charlotte. She loved spending time with friends and family and will be missed by those who knew her. Shirley is preceded in death by her parents, Robmiller Bryant McClanahan, Reaves McClanahan, and daughter Penny Kay Maynor.

She is survived by her sons, Ray (Debbie), Robert (Dana) and Glenn, and grandchildren Colby, McKenzie, BreAnna, and Justin Maynor.

A memorial service will be held 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 29 in the chapel at Wilson Funeral and Cremation Service, 5301 Albemarle Rd. with the Rev. David Wyant officiating. Interment will follow in Sharon Memorial Park. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Wednesday at the funeral home
In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to the Charlotte Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure , P.O. Box 601597, Charlotte, NC 28260-1597, or to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 5950 Fairview Rd., Suite 250, Charlotte, NC 28210.
Online condolences may be made at

Published in Charlotte Observer on September 28, 2010

Shirley's Funeral

By Mitzi Minor Roper

I went to Shirley's Funeral today. It was SO sweet!!!!! She would have been "proud". LOTS of people attended the "Family Greeting Time" that did not stay for the Funeral--- I got there at 12:30 and had to wait in a LONG line to speak to her boys. Parking lot was full.

They gave out little pamphlets with her picture on the front. Inside under same picture was a poem. Her date of birth and death were on the other side with Pastor's name---- David Wyatt from Memorial United Methodist.

Very well attended by our class as well as other friends. The Chapel was FULL. MOST of our class sat together.

Flowers were lovely----she was cremated as you know and they had her urn at the front of the Chapel. She apparently had a lot of extended family who sat behind her boys.
Her minister did an excellent job--

Glen, her youngest boy who lived with her, got up with a "pink" baseball cap on his head and spoke first----he told everyone that he was wearing the pink hat because it was what Shirley put on her head when she got cold. (She NEVER wore her 2 new wigs because she said that they were too uncomfortable) He was REALLY a comedian and told some of the FUNNIEST stories about Shirley and the boys when they were growing up! 

Then Ray, her oldest who is from Huntsville, Ala., got up and said that he had done something the night before that he had NEVER done before----he had written a poem about Shirley. It was really quiet nice and he chatted a little about his Mother and some of the "trials" she had gone through---nothing "out of order", but very touching and sweet.

Robert, her middle child from Columbia did not speak---you may remember that it was Robert who was so attentive and sort of took over when she wasn't able to "think and do for herself". Then the minister read the I Cor. 4 passage and said a prayer. A lot of people went to the Grave Yard too. 

Her boys (particularly Robert and Ray) are REALLY nice boys and ALL of them thanked and thanked everyone for coming. Don't think that they expected such a crowd. They reflected her hard work at being a good Mother!!!!!!

Don't know "who" planned everything, whether Shirley did, or the boys, but it was VERY well done.
While it is difficult to lose Shirley, God's timing was perfect as it ALWAYS is! I went to see her for the last time in the nursing home on Thursday----I prayed for the Lord to take her----she had been through a lot----I don't "believe" that her life had been an easy one either. 

She set a GREAT example of "perseverance" for her boys and friends. Betty Rose told me that she was going to be buried in the same grave with her infant daughter, Penny.

Hopefully many of us will see her again in the future-----but God willing----not in the "too near" future.

Tomorrow is another day and life goes on!