Jacksonville - Shirley White Thurmond, 84, passed away peacefully on 9/7/2019 at her home in Jacksonville, FL.
Shirley was born July 15, 1935 in Whitesville, KY to Ronald Willis White and Nina Bell Brooks White and attended Owensboro Senior High School. While working in accounting at Green River Rural Electric Company, she met and married Rev. James O. Thurmond September 15, 1955 in Owensboro, KY. Together they served churches in several Kentucky communities. While working as a mother, minister's wife, and part-time accountant, Shirley successfully earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting and business from Kentucky Wesleyan College and Western Kentucky University, respectively.
Shirley was a leader, a teacher and an inspiration throughout her life and left lasting impressions wherever she and Jim served. After retiring, they served on mission teams to Venezuela and El Salvador and spent three months in 1997 on the island of Sumatra, teaching English as a second language. Shirley loved travel and meeting people throughout the world including assisting with World Methodist conferences in Nairobi, Singapore, and England. To all who knew her at home and abroad, Shirley's quiet dignity, elegant demeanor and quick wit made the world a better place.
Shirley is preceded in death by her parents Ronald Willis White and Nina Bell Brooks White and her brother Brooks White. She is survived by her beloved husband of 63 plus years James O. Thurmond, daughter Jamie Thurmond Surratt and husband Steve of Jacksonville, FL and son William Ronald Thurmond and his wife Stacey Ballis, of Chicago, IL and her sister, Sandra Jean White Gossert of Venice, FL. Shirley adored her granddaughters, Rebecca Surratt Drexel and husband John Drexel, of Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Elizabeth Surratt Woods and husband Andrew Woods, of Jacksonville, FL.
A memorial service will be held at State Street United Methodist Church, 1101 State St, Bowling Green, KY at 2 pm, on Wednesday, 18 September with reception to follow.
The Thurmond family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the many friends in State Street United Methodist Church, friends from around the world, Dr. Richard Grochmal, special caregivers Judy DePass and Christine Wise and the Hospice of Northeast Florida.