Livestream service available: https://livestream.com/npw
Shirley Wittman Matthews, of Midland, formerly of Jacksonville, Texas, passed away October 1, 2021. Shirley was born September 17, 1930, in Waco, Texas, to William Wittman, Jr. and Mary Ella Blanchard Wittman. She graduated from Baylor University in 1952 with a degree in Education, English, and Spanish, and from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in 1957 with a Masters of Christian Education degree. In 1972 she graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Master’s degree in Studio Art and Art History. As a young person, Shirley worked as a volunteer at the Methodist Home in Waco, was an officer of the Central Texas Methodist Conference Youth Council, and served as a counselor in Methodist youth camps.
After meeting when both were students at Perkins School of Theology, Shirley married Virgil Matthews in 1955. She served as Minister of Christian Education for First Methodist Church, Jacksonville, Texas, and later was chair of the Art Department at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville for two decades. She was a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Midland, Texas.
Shirley loved reading, art, gardening, birding, traveling, and doing genealogical research. She researched and wrote the family histories of her mother’s and father’s families, and co-edited a book on the spiritual autobiographies of Southern women with a group of other women. Shirley was a devoted wife, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and friend. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Ella Wittman, and sisters Evelyn Gurley and Helen Hamlin. She is survived by her husband Virgil Matthews, son Mark Matthews, daughter Karen and husband Bill Hardie, grandson Benjamin Hardie, granddaughter Holland Hardie and husband Anthony Stewart, and brother Bill Wittman.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR.org). A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Chapel. A graveside service will be held at a later date at the Colfax Cemetery, Colfax, Texas.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com.