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Dave Shirley

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Gone, but not forgotten

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Many of us remember the late Dave Shirley. He was a beloved school teacher and one of the finest Christian gentlemen I ever knew. He and his wife Artie were such a blessing to so many.

Recently his daughter Flo shared the following which she had shared with her church on Father’s Day.

It was a life well lived from 1902 until 1989. And so as it seemed to me then, he was too young to go, but he was tired from struggles with arthritis and my mother’s dementia.

David Daniel Shirley was born in Bokoshe, Indian Territory, now south east Oklahoma to parents who had come North and West in covered wagons from Mississippi and Texas.

Daddy was the fourth son in a family of eight children. His parents, my grand parents were poor share croppers, as most rural folks were at that time in our nation’s history.

My dad found the love of his life, my mother Artie Ruble, in the seventh or eight grade. They walked or rode a horse to school, church, country singings with dinner on the grounds and yearly family reunions and an occasional Sunday dinner.

In the 10th grade, my dad had chosen a life more meaningful and richer in reward than depending upon dirt and weather, and so he began his career teaching school. He needed no certificate at that time to teach.

As the years passed, his teaching career meant everything to him. Please remember this; he taught 42 years and never missed one day sick! He was blessed with good health, and determined to use his gift of love for the community.

In his early days of teaching he was “hunted down” by a father and brothers of a girl he had whipped. He get out of that and remained so strict you might have been able to hear a pin drop as he entered his classroom.

He always seemed to serve as S.S. Superintendent, Taxi cab driver (only we owned a car) and any other need that arose. All that to the extent that my mom often felt neglected as she and we kids stayed home so others could ride to town on Saturday.

I was an only girl with three older brothers. I was not spoiled until I was able to spoil myself with enough lipstick to get my hooks into Jess. (By lipstick I mean all makeup, which he loved.)

My dad, my husband, my son are wonderful Christian fathers and PTL.

God is Good All The time.

Written by Flo Shirley Howard for a Father’s Day presentation at her church several years ago.