Shirley Lee (O'Neal) McElhaney

Obituary
5 entries
  • "I have many fond memories of Matt & Shirley while at Prince..."
    - Susan Caputo (Hovey)
  • " We would just like to express our most sincere prayers..."
    - Chuck and Heather
  • "We have such wonderful memories of times shared with..."
    - Bob and Sylvia Weeks
  • "Doris Bitely I will miss you Shirley."
  • "Rest in peace dear friend. I will miss your positive..."
    - Barb Stoll
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Shirley Lee O'Neal McElhaney, age 85, left the physical world Monday, September 10, 2018, to join her beloved husband Matt in heaven. She passed away peacefully surrounded by her children-Stuart, Blair, and Amy. She dealt with her pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis as she did with most challenges in her life: she kept moving forward with all the strength she could muster. Shirley was born on September 23, 1932, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, third and last child of Blair E. and Hazel I. O'Neal. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Blair, her sister Kathy, and her husband Matt. Besides Matt and her children, her great loves were her Lutheran faith, music, dogs, and dolls. All three were constants throughout her life. Shirley was always a bit ahead of her time, like when she convinced her father to send her to college in 1950 despite his admonition that "girls do not need to go to college." However, it was at Thiel College where she met Matt, who became her husband and best friend in 1954. She and Matt moved frequently during their marriage, but she always made lasting friends easily as evidenced by her extensive Christmas card mailing list, and she always had dogs, often rescues. She devoted her life to her family but decided to pursue a new career in 1979 after she finished a Master's in Social Work and went to work for a local school district. No matter what Shirley did, she put her heart and soul into it and was never content to sit still while there was much to be done out in the world. She desperately wanted to see how her grandchildren's lives would turn out, but died being satisfied in the goodness of their natures and knowing they would all find their places in the world. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends. A service will be held at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 1605 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC, on September 22, 2018, at 11:00am. Donations can be made in her name to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/PFFTribute/ShirleyLeeMcElhaney
Arrangements are by Cotten Funeral Home & Crematory.
Published in Sun Journal from Sept. 11 to Sept. 12, 2018
Arrangements under the direction of:
Cotten Funeral Home
2201 Neuse Blvd | New Bern, NC 28560 | (252) 637-3181
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