Ms. Shirley (MLK Work Week Homeowner)


Ms. Shirley is one of eight girls born and raised in Northeastern Oklahoma.  As the fifth child, she has always been very close to her sisters.  The eight girls all grew up working together to support the family.  Shirley has worked as a custodian/housekeeper her entire life.  In the late 1950s, she decided to visit two of her sisters, who had moved to Oklahoma City to teach school.  “I came to visit my sisters, and I decided to stay,” Shirley says.  OKC became her home.

It was in OKC where Shirley met her husband, who was serving in the Air Force and stationed at Tinker Air Force Base.  Her marriage to a service member moved the family to Ohio and also Texas.  Throughout their marriage, the couple had four children, two boys and two girls.  Eventually the family moved back to OKC to be near Shirley’s family once again.  Shirley then had the opportunity to work with her sisters in the OKC Public School system.

Shirley’s husband passed away 27 years ago.  She also lost two of her sisters to cancer.  In 2005, she was diagnosed with the same type of cancer herself.  Shirley was able to fight her cancer with treatment and today she is cancer free!  She says that after beating her cancer, she can overcome anything.

In the past, Shirley has been an artist.  She loves to draw and attend art shows and festivals.  The Paseo District has been one of her favorite places to spend time.  Shirley also enjoys taking frequent trips to Colorado and Texas to visit her children and five grandchildren.

Shirley is so thankful for all Rebuilding Together is going to do for her.  “Every time one of your workers comes over, they have a smile on their face and that gives me a smile too!”