Shirley Mae Rhodes, 71, of Ripley, WV passed from this earthly life and entered into her heavenly home with her Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at home with her beloved husband, Clayton, holding her hand and surrounded by her family as they sang Amazing Grace to her.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Streeter “Coon” & Dorothy Juanita (Fields) Burgess; her brothers, David Burgess, Dewayne White, Ureal Burgess, Donald Burgess and her sister, Betty Jane Shamblin. She is survived by her husband of 52 and half years, Clayton; daughter, JuaNita Drennen and husband, Fred, of Ripley, WV; son, Robert and wife, Jenny, of Belleview, FL; granddaughter, Kayla Harmon and husband, Rex, Jr., of Leon, WV; granddaughter, Madi Casto and husband, JW, of Millwood, WV; great-granddaughter, Kayleigh Harmon; great-granddaughter, Aspen Casto and great-grandson, Declan Casto. She is also survived by her sister, Lois Jean Casto of Cross Lanes, WV and numerous nieces, nephews and other family and friends.
Shirley was born on October 8, 1949 in Higgonbottham holler, Cicerone, WV, where she spent her childhood and walked through the woods to attend a little, one room school she often described like the The Little House on the Prairie. Shirley & Clayton were married in Louisa, Kentucky on July 20, 1968.
Shirley was a homemaker and enjoyed serving and caring for others. She worked as a waitress, babysitter and in home caregiver employed by HomeCare Services for over thirteen years before retiring early due to lung cancer.
Shirley was a faithful Christian and a prayer warrior. She shared her joy in the Lord with others through music. She played guitar, banjo and other instruments, and loved to sing. Shirley spent many years singing for the glory of the Lord, traveling throughout WV and the tri-state area and on public radio with The Family Gospel Singers, which included her mother-in-law, Margie, brother, Donald, sister, Jean, friend, Genie, and other close friends along the way.
Shirley was a devoted wife, loving mother, “mawmaw” and a friend to all. She and Clayton spent their years living a simple life in the countryside of Jackson County, raising their children on Middlefork and the past twenty years in their current home in Fairplain, near Ripley, where Shirley peacefully went to her “happy place with Jesus”, as her granddaughter, Kayleigh, has been reminding all of us. Although our heart aches with the loss of her being with us here on earth, there is great rejoicing in Heaven. As Shirley so often sang, “what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see . . . what a day, glorious day that will be”.
A memorial service will be held at 3:30pm on Saturday, February 6th at Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley with the Reverend Michael Shamblin officiating. At a later date, Shirley’s ashes will be buried on the hillside behind their home.
Posted online on February 05, 2021