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07:05 AM Tom Shirley Celebration of Life Services Today

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
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Date: May 30 2024 7:07 AM



Thomas Allen "Tom" Shirley





A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at 2:30 pm on Thursday, May 30, 2024, at Watermark Church in Ashford, with Rev. Todd Thorpe officiating. Tom will be laid to rest in Ashford City Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to gather at the church from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm before the service on Thursday.


Active pallbearers will be Dustin Shirley, Ryan Shirley, Craig Shirley, Brandon Shirley, Adam Cochran, and Ronnie Johnson. Honorary pallbearers include Brant Cochran, Brian Johnson, Caden Love, the Domino Boys from Ashford, and members of the Broadway Breakfast Table. Flowers are being accepted or memorial contributions may be made in Tom’s honor to Ashford Library Fund at the Dothan Houston County Library System, P.O. Box 1369, Dothan, AL 36302, donations will be directed to the DHCLS Ashford Library Capital Campaign or to Watermark Missionary Fund.






Thomas Allen "Tom" Shirley, a cherished pillar of the Ashford community and a beacon of kindness and passion, passed away after an extended illness on May 26, 2024, at the age of 89. Born in Pike County, Alabama, on May 23, 1935, to the late Allen and Naomi Thomas Shirley, Tom’s journey through life was marked by dedication to his family, his community, and an unwavering spirit of competitiveness and humility.




Tom’s early years in Goshen High School displayed his athletic prowess, leading him to play basketball at Chipola College, where he met his first wife, Sarah Jo Shirley. The couple was blessed with a union that lasted 49 years until her passing in 2005. Together, they watched their family expand to include sons Tim (Debbie) Shirley and Andy (Cecilia) Shirley, daughter Dawn (Ronnie) Johnson, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, who will forever cherish his memory and the love he freely gave.




Tom worked with Goodyear Tires for 14 years before purchasing Home Oil Company in 1966, a business move that would root him deeply in the Ashford community. In Ashford, Tom became known for his generosity and commitment to growth, both personally and within the town he loved. He bought and fixed up properties, contributing to the development of the area. His love for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was evident in every aspect of his life, and he was often found sharing pearls of wisdom or a supportive word, always knowing just the right thing to say.




As an avid sportsman, Tom was once drafted by the Baltimore Orioles to play baseball, a testament to his athletic skill and competitive nature. He was also a cornerstone of Watermark Church and one of the founders of Ashford Academy, leaving behind a legacy of faith and education.




Tom’s interests spanned from the tranquility of fishing to the camaraderie of playing dominoes with the Domino Boys from Ashford. His presence at the Broadway Breakfast Table was always a source of joy and laughter. As a man who stood firm in his beliefs and values, he was often reminded of the words of Albert Einstein, "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." Tom embodied this sentiment, becoming an icon in the eyes of many, respected for his intelligence, kindness, and passion.




He leaves behind his loving wife, Charlotte Shirley; his children, Tim (Debbie) Shirley, Andy (Cecilia) Shirley, and Dawn (Ronnie) Johnson; his grandchildren, Nikki (Adam) Cochran, Brian (Scout) Johnson, Nathan Johnson, Dustin (Leah) Shirley, Ryan (Whitney) Shirley, Craig (Alex) Shirley, Brandon (Katie) Shirley, and Lindsay Shiver; his great-grandchildren, Bailee (Caden) Cochran, Sara Brooke Cochran, Brant Cochran, Grayson Shiver, Landon Shiver, Rhett Shiver, Reaves Shirley, Lakin Shirley, Spencer Shirley, Laila Kate Shirley, Kaia Shirley, Bryce Johnson, Cameron Johnson, Jordan Johnson, Rosie Johnson, Walker Johnson, and Riley Johnson; and his great-great-grandchildren, Sadie Kate Love and Saylor Love; and by his sister, Peggy Blair;. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Allen and Naomi Shirley, his first wife, Sarah Jo Shirley, his children, Melanie Joy Shirley and Michael Shirley, his brother Fred Shirley, and by his sister, Janette Meads.




Tom Shirley lived a life that exemplified the true essence of a man of value. His legacy is etched in the hearts of those he touched and the community he helped shape. He will be profoundly missed, remembered, and celebrated for the steadfast love and wisdom he bestowed upon us all.







07:05 AM    Tom Shirley Celebration of Life Services Today

Family First Funeral Home

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