On Thursday, May 7, 2020, Shirley Jean Brandhorst gained her angel wings. Shirley was born July 2, 1948, to Cecil and Geneva Burley in Stuttgart, AR, the second of eight children. In her early years she was affectionately known as “Shirley Burley from Turley” because she attended a one-room country schoolhouse named Turley School. She had a happy childhood living in the country outside of DeWitt, AR, and loved to tell stories about her adventures growing up – like how she and her brothers and sisters would walk barrels in the field for fun or how they had a pet skunk which sprayed their cousins. She graduated from DeWitt High School with dreams of being a mother. After a long, difficult journey with multiple miscarriages and a stillbirth, she gave birth to two daughters, Lisa Raquel and Angela Christine.
Shirley was a wonderful mother and provided magical experiences for her daughters like being able to “make” trains come for her daughters’ entertainment while traveling by car in rural Arkansas, and pointing out swampy marsh areas where Kermit could possibly live. She filled their childhoods with Easter egg hunts, delightful visits from Santa, and at least one special hand-made gift each Christmas. On more than one occasion, she hand-sewed Christmas gifts for all the children in her daughters’ classes at school.
Shirley was a kind and compassionate woman of faith. She was intelligent and enjoyed engaging in long, philosophical discussions about religion or debating current events. People often described her as a very sweet woman, but also a little feisty, especially in her later years. She enjoyed gardening and sewing, and was very crafty. Her favorite color was yellow.
Shirley is preceded in death by her mom and dad, her husband (Jack), and three siblings (Christine, Jerry, and Gloria). She is survived by her two daughters, six grandchildren, one great granddaughter, two sisters (Linda Sue and Tanya), two brothers (Don and Timmy), and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Because of the current restrictions of services held, the family will be having a Private Visitation and Memorial Service at O’Bryant-O’Keefe Funeral Home in Gautier. You may watch the Funeral Service by livestream on the funeral home’s facebook that is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 2:00pm.
She will be laid to rest by her husband at Biloxi National Cemetery in Biloxi, MS. You may send condolences to her family or share a memory of her on the Tribute Wall.