ODESSA Shirley Ann Carter’s spirit left this earth on March 4, 2010, but a volume of memories of this librarian extraordinaire will remain here with friends.
She was born in Chillicothe, Mo., Feb. 15, 1929. Shirley grew up in Irving. A perfectionist, Shirley chose library science as her avocation and received a Bachelor’s degree from North Texas State Teachers College and a Master’s degree from Texas Tech University. Sometime between degrees, George Carter came into Shirley’s life, and they married in 1950. The first library that Shirley “set to rights” was in Levelland; but Hobbs, N.M., and Wink also knew her penchant for organization before Odessa became her home. Goliad and Austin Elementary were steps toward Hood Junior High, which opened in 1960. Its library remained under the auspices of Shirley until her retirement in 1997. Aside from meticulous library skills was the remarkable fact that this librarian did not think all of the books belonged to her. Teachers and students walked in and out of Hood’s library loaded with whatever book or books they deemed necessary.
Outside of Hood’s library, Shirley had many interests and special friends. She loved to play card games and was an astute bridge player. At one time she played bridge over the telephone with a friend. For a time, golf was pastime and friends listened patiently to her story of a hole in one at the Sunset Golf course, verifiable by a witness she would conclude. An absolute passion of Shirley’s and George’s was jazz. For many years the Jazz Festival was a special event to be attended by the impeccably dressed Shirley Carter. However, one of Shirley’s best loved out-of-school interests was a group of friends named The Cold Duck Bunch. Friday afternoons found Shirley with these friends at one of their homes. The term “friends” is ineffectual because these ladies considered themselves to be a family. Consisting of various backgrounds and ages, Frances Goodall, Sonya Haynie, Lorilla Hook, Danora Harrison, Verl Johnson, Elizabeth Koonce, Ruth Roquemore, Cecil Taylor and Yollie Wilkins spent 30 years enjoying a very special camaraderie. Some of these ladies helped Shirley enjoy another interest as they traveled to Ruidoso, N.M., to attend the horse races. Winnings and races were new topics for Friday afternoons.
One other special interest of Shirley’s was in the culinary arts. She was a connoisseur of fine foods and dinners were an event. One friend asked repeatedly that her yeast rolls be the entire meal at the next luncheon. Special friends received baskets of goodies at Christmas. One young friend, Craig Rockafellow, was privileged to help in the yard work and rewarded with lunch on occasion. Regardless of the age or background of the people who came in contact with Shirley Carter, one thing remained constant in their opinion — she was a lady.
Retirement did not mean interest or activities came to a stop for Shirley. Now she had more time to work in Iris beds, play bridge, read (which was a passion) and meet friends at Zucchi’s for lunch. Yollie Wilkins and Shirley donated many hours to the monumental task of organizing and cataloging volumes donated to the Ellen Noël Art Museum.
There was no stopping the enjoyment of life for Shirley.
Shirley is survived by her husband, George Carter; and a niece, Brenda Ivey; the daughter of her brother Richard, who is deceased. A sister Norma Stephens is deceased.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at 2 p.m. with Fr. Mark Woodruff officiating. It has been requested by the family that friends donate to their favorite charities in lieu of flowers.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Sunset Funeral Home. To sign the guest book, go to our website at www.sunsetodessa.com.