Shirley RANSOM

Family-Placed Death Notice

RANSOM, Shirley SHIRLEY ANN RANSOM Shirley Ann Ransom was born on April 11, 1952 in Mullins, SC to the late Mr. Wellington Ransom and Mrs. Wilhelmena H. Ransom. She entered eternal rest on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Shirley was married to Johnny Freeman for 24 years and from this union one daughter, Morgan Freeman, was born. Shirley graduated as the first African American valedictorian from Mullins High School in 1970. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and International Relations from the University of South Carolina in 1973. As a 1974 recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, Shirley studied the process of Constitutional Development for a year at the University of Lagos, in Lagos, Nigeria. She continued her studies in Constitutional Development and Law by earning a Master of Arts degree in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1976. She then entered the University of Michigan Law School where she earned a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1979. Shirley was a member of the Bar Association in Georgia, Michigan, and the District of Columbia. Shirley began her professional career in Washington, DC as an attorney for the US Department of Transportation. She began a 24 year career with the Legal Departments of BellSouth/AT&T in Atlanta in 1983 as an Attorney for Southern Bell. She was part of the Southern Bell negotiation team for the AT&T divestiture. She then relocated to Birmingham, AL to provide legal support to BellSouth Services. She assumed positions of increasing responsibility and was promoted to Senior Attorney in Atlanta for BellSouth Business, where she was responsible for negotiating complex contracts on behalf of BellSouth with its large business and government customers. Over the years Shirley was instrumental in helping BellSouth win and close many big deals with its most important customers including Coca-Cola, the City of Atlanta, Georgia Tech, the State of Georgia, and the State of South Carolina. She retired from BellSouth/AT&T in 2007. Even though Shirley's professional career was very demanding, she was committed and devoted to her family, creating a strong and nurturing family unit. She leaves her family the legacy of God, excellence, the importance of character and respect for self and others. She confessed Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior as a young adult and became an active member of Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta until her health declined. Shirley's faith in God, determination and tenacity guided her successfully through many adverse situations throughout her life. It was this same faith and tenacity which helped her battle the last chapter of her life. In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by her brother, Bruce (Emma); sister, Gayle (Joe); nephew, Austin McKinney; Aunt, Mrs. Doris Hamlin of Timmonsville, SC; and a host of relatives and friends. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, June 18, at 1:00PM at Big Bethel AME Church, 220 Auburn Ave., Atlanta, GA, Pastor Gregory V. Eason, Sr.; Rev. John R. Foster, Officiating; Interment Westview Cemetery; Family hour will be held THIS EVENING from 5:30PM-6:30PM in our Chapel. 404.758.1731. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the at 1-800-227-2345 or

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from June 15 to June 17, 2013