Cover photo for Joseph Samuel Shirley's Obituary
Joseph Samuel Shirley Profile Photo
1934 Joseph 2022

Joseph Samuel Shirley

June 23, 1934 — January 26, 2022

Joseph Samuel Shirley
June 23,1934 - January 26, 2022

Joseph Samuel Shirley died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of January 26, 2022. Sam shared his life with with his wife, Joanna May Wilkins Shirley, for over 67 years until Joanna’s passing in November 2020. They shared four children: Robert Shirley and his wife, Darlene, Lynne Shirley Grinstead and husband Steve Grinstead, Melanie Ann Shirley Marshall, and daughter Hope Renee Shirley, whom they lost in 1967.

Memorial services will be held April 9, 2022 at 2:00 pm at Shepherd United Methodist Church in Shepherd, TX. Visitation will be held afterwards in their fellowship hall. For those able to attend, attire will be bright, cheerful, and comfortable as that is what Sam would have liked.

Sam was born in Bowling Green, KY and grew up on a sheep and tobacco farm in Auburn, KY. His parents were Hiram Zebedee Shirley and Velma Bailey Shirley. Sam had four older siblings; Annie Marie Shirley Coulter, Mary Shirley Meador, Alma Shirley Dyer, and Eldon Shirley, who all preceded him in death. Sam was loved by eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and lifetime friends.

As high school sweethearts and newlyweds, they took the bold step of moving to Texas with their newborn son in 1954 and made Texas their permanent home, moving first to Houston, but then made Shepherd, TX their home from1970-2009. Sam worked for Wiggins Water Company for many years and went on to work as the maintenance supervisor for all of San Jacinto County’s buildings in Coldspring, TX, and he retired from there, as well. Sam was a farmer at heart and loved nothing more than growing vegetables of every variety on their two acres in Shepherd and cutting grass on his riding tractor/lawnmower, where he would be found every weekend. He was also the ultimate handyman and and could fix just about everything around the house. He had tools by the hundreds, and his favorite hobby was woodworking. He was known to build shelves, desks, frames, wooden crosses, etc. for dozens of family members, friends, or coworkers in the entire county. He loved to build toys and rocking horses for his grandchildren and great grandchildren and watch their joyous reactions. In 2009, Sam and Joanna moved to Frisco, TX for their permanent retirement.

Growing up on a farm, Sam was very active in farm life as his father died when Sam was only 13 years old. He grew up fast and joined the National Guard while still in High school. He was very active in Shepherd United Methodist Church for 38 years and served as the “primary bell ringer” every Sunday and cooked many breakfasts over those years for the church mens’ group. Sam and Joanna loved to travel in their recreational vehicle to many parts of the USA. Sam was a quiet man and at first pass, didn’t talk a lot. But when he did, sometimes he didn’t know when to stop! We rejoice that he has now been received into the loving arms of our Lord, Joanna, his parents and siblings, and daughter, Renee. In

lieu of flowers, please consider Memorial Donations in memory of Sam Shirley to: American Heart Association or Shepherd United Methodist Church, 71 Spring Ave., Shepherd, TX 77371.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Samuel Shirley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm

Shepherd United Methodist Church

Spring St., Shepherd, TX 00000

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 8

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers