Sylvia Shirley

January 4, 1941 ~ August 4, 2021 (age 80)

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Tupelo – Sylvia Ann Dunn Shirley, 80, realized the promises of her faith and met her Creator from her residence near Bissell on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021.  Sylvia had been in declining health for some time.  A lifelong resident of Tupelo, she was born on Jan. 4, 1941 to the late John Tyson Dunn and Clydie Pearl Campbell Dunn, she grew up here and attended the public schools.  She married Lawrence Gambrell Shirley on Dec. 2, 1961, a marriage of 38 years until his death on July 15, 2000.  She kept the Nursery at Calvary Baptist Church for 43 years.   She and Lawrence fostered over 100 children in their lifetimes and were the parents of 6.  Her love for children is legendary and her legacy of caring for them will live on in the hearts and minds of those she nurtured-and beyond.  A sign in her home told it all, “Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone …but miracously my own.  Sylvia was lovingly known as “Googer” to her grandchildren.

A service celebrating her life will be held at 11 AM Monday, August 9, 2021 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Will Rambo officiating. Burial will follow in Tupelo Memorial Park.  Visitation will be from 4PM-6PM Sunday and from 10 AM-service time on Monday-all at Holland Funeral Directors, which is honored to be serving their friends.

Survivors include her six children, Michael Shirley (wife, Kateri), Kimberly Cornelius (husband, Ruel), Jody Shirley (wife, Blanca), Christopher Shirley, John Shirley, and Braden Shirley; 7 grandchildren, Chad Shirley, Brittany Clark (husband, Brice), Loagan Carter, Hayley Maxwell, Harrison Maxwell, Jonathan Cornelius,Walter Cruz-Manjarrez, Fernanda Cruz-Manjarrez; 4 great-grandchildren, Easton, Benji, Tristan, and Gunner.

Pallbearers will be Jonathan Cornelius, Harrison Maxwell, Chad Shirley, Brice Clark, Tim Lee, and Ruel Cornelius.  Honorary pallbearers will be past and present childcare workers of Calvary Baptist Church who have tirelessly modeled the young minds of North Mississippi in the image of our Lord and Savior.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.   Condolences to the family may be posted at  Those who cannot attend may view the services at 11 AM, Monday, and thereafter at


August 8, 2021

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Tupelo Chapel of Holland

Funeral Service

August 9, 2021

11:00 AM
Tupelo Chapel of Holland, Union Grove Cemetery

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