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Grace Watkins Shirley

Grace Watkins Shirley, 88, went home to Glory on January 7, 2011, after a long illness. Mrs. Shirley was born in Lee County, South Carolina, and was the daughter of the late Jesse Brannon Watkins and Carolyn Davis Watkins. She was a graduate of Kershaw High School and spent her professional life as a bookkeeper, having retired from the office of William F. Bodie, CPA. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Camden all of her adult life, where she taught four-year-old Sunday School for more than thirty years. While she was in good health, Mrs. Shirley was active in the Current Missions Circle, where she was able to exhibit her deep love for local and international missions. She was also active in her senior adult Sunday School class. One of her greatest joys came from singing in the Silvertones Senior Adult Choir. Her favorite pastime was sitting in her Boston Rocker and reading her Bible.

Mrs. Shirley was married for 62 years to the late Marvin Joseph Shirley, who passed away in 2009. She is survived by daughters, Patty S. Miller of Camden and Fonda S. Bohr (Dick) of Irmo; and sons, Kenneth M. Shirley of Richmond, VA, and Keith J. Shirley (Teresa) of Davidson, NC. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Kyle Miller of Baltimore, MD; Ryan Miller of Charlottesville, VA; Haley Dougherty of Columbia; Megan Stephenson of Catawba, VA; Benjamin Shirley of Richmond, VA; and Daniel Shirley of Chapel Hill, NC. Also surviving Mrs. Shirley are her six precious great-grandchildren: Jack and Grace Dougherty, Estelle Grace and Carter Stephenson, and Aili and Camden Miller. Brother, Robert F. Watkins, of Orange Park, FL, is Mrs. Shirley’s only surviving sibling. She was predeceased by brothers, Heyward Watkins, Hoyt Watkins, Lawrence Watkins, Roy Watkins, Jesse Watkins and Jerry Watkins; and sisters, Lillian Holden, Mary Spencer, and Sibyl Taylor.

Funeral services for Mrs. Shirley were held at First Baptist Church in Camden on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. with Rev. Brent Kendall officiating. Visitation was just prior to the services at 2:00 p.m. in the church Fellowship Center. Burial was in Quaker Cemetery immediately following the funeral services.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made in Mrs. Shirley’s name to the "Arise and Build" fund at First Baptist Church in Camden.

The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the staff of Karesh Long Term Care for the love, respect and compassion shown to their mother during these final years of her life.

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