Shirley Jo Wates
September 11, 1938 - September 22, 2021
Shirley Jo Wates was born September 11, 1938 in Berwyn, Oklahoma to Lenars and Nora Ola Wates. She was the 9th born of eleven children. She attended school at Lincoln Consolidated School and Central High School and finished back home in Gene Autry.
Shirley joined Calvary Baptist Church in Gene Autry at an early age and later Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. The family faithfully walked from the Washita River bottom across the pasture and over the train tracks to church every week.
After her mother’s passing Shirley moved to Kansas City and lived with her brothers Olen and Odis. Later, she moved to Phoenix with Luther, began her nursing career and helped raise her nieces and nephews. Shirley moved back home to Gene Autry in 1969 to the family home. Soon after, she began working as a Nurse’s Aid at Elmbrook Nursing Home until she retired more than 30 years later.
Shirley stuck pretty close to home most times except for fishing with her special friend, George McGee at the Washita, going to church and occasional car rides with her sisters Evelyn and Louise. If you ever stopped by her house, you were sure to be offered the best meal you’ve ever had and a tall glass of her famous iced tea. Shirley was an exceptional cook and poured love into every dish. Greens, Red Beans , spicy Dressing and Peach Cobbler were her signature dishes.
Shirley faithfully watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with Evelyn coaching and fussing with the contestants every step of the way. She enjoyed keeping in touch with all of the neices and nephews, proudly displaying their pictures and bragging on all of their accomplishments. Though she never had children of her own, she was a surrogate mother to all of her neices and nephews.
She is survived by two brothers, James and wife Carolyn, and Lyndal Frank and hosts of neices and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Lenars and Nora Ola; brothers Luther, Odis, Olen, and Willie; sisters Louise, Evelyn, Claudia, And Freddie.
Service will be held at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Gene Autry, OK, October 2, 2021 at 11am; Internment to follow at Calvary Cemetery, Gene Autry, OK
Pallbearers will be her nephews, and her nieces will act as flowerbearers.
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