Shirley Hardin Wright

Published 3:15 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

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Shirley Hardin Wright passed on June 10, 2023. She was 88.

Shirley was born to the late Martin A Hardin and Hilda Byers Hardin on May 10, 1935, In Decatur Alabama.

She was preceded in death by her grandson, Joshua Stewart Wright.

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She is survived by her husband, David S. Wright of Selma, daughter, Rebecca Wright (Dale) Sheffield; grandson, Justin (Kellie) Sheffield; son, Ronald Stewart (Pamela) Wright; granddaughter, Amanda; brother. Martin A. “Buddy” Hardin and his children, Tay Hardin Etheredge, Wes Hardin, and Tara Hardin Utsey.

Attending family pallbearers will be Chase Utsey, Hardin Utsey, Holt Utsey, Davis Hardin, Madison Faile, Andrew Harrison, Wesley Hardin and Justin W. Sheffield.

Shirley attended A.G. Parrish High School and was an outstanding student and spokesperson. She was chosen to visit President Truman in 1952 while attending Girl’s Nation. She graduated in 1953, and later that same year was married to David on July 29, 1953, in a very formal southern wedding in the Methodist Church. She and David attended Auburn University for four years ‘till David was called to duty with the USAF. During the ten years with the Air Force, she was appointed several positions in the officer’s wife’s clubs and was president for two years while stationed in the Panama Canal zone. Through her position, she and David were invited to visit the ruling regime and chief of staff of the Colombian Armed Forces in Bogota, Columbia, after sponsoring military couples visiting Panama.

After military life, Shirley was a secretary in Tuscaloosa, while David trained to be a Sears store manager. Transferring to Mobile, and then to Tampa, Shirley became a master bridge player and entered many tournaments. Tampa became Shirley’s world with Avon, and she became (Tampa’s Avon Lady) and won many presidential awards for her sales achievements, so much that the Tampa Tribune newspaper paid homage by devoting an entire book section to her in the Sunday newspaper. Shirley, Tampa Bay’s Avon Lady.

When David retired from Sears in 1993, she and David opened a rental home vacation business in Dahlonega, Georgia on an island in the forest, surrounded by a whitewater river, and their business was very successful for 30 years. Their renters loved the area so much that many retired in the area.

Shirley loved square dancing, roller skating, ice skating, and was an excellent slalom water skier. Shirley loved camping in the outback and was a NRA rifle expert. She would ride roller coasters and rockets when David would not. Her one reserve was flying with David in their Cessna airplane for 10 years as every trip was a “white knuckle flight”.

With all this to her credit, she was a true southern lady. As put by David, “She was my best friend for 75 years. They say love is forever… Until I can rejoin her in our Heavenly Home, we will all miss her greatly.”

Funeral services will be Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home  with Rev. Dianne Everette officiating. Interment will follow at New Live Oak Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home on Monday evening from 5-7 p.m.