Robert "Bob" H. Shirey, 90, passed away on November 4, 2012, after a brief illness. He was born November 17, 1921, in Weatherford, Oklahoma, to the late George J. and Lovell Hays Shirey. Early in Robert's life, the Shireys moved to El Reno, Oklahoma, where he spent his childhood.
On December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on our country at Pearl Harbor, Bob, along with many other brave young men, enlisted in the United States Navy. He served with gallantry and honor, first on the U.S.S. Bobolink, and then on the U.S.S. Bush in the South Pacific. Among the pivotal battles of World War II in which Bob and the brave crew of the Bush were involved in, are the battles at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Bush was sunk off the coast of Okinawa in the final days of World War II. Bob, along with other survivors, floated in the cold, shark infested water throughout the night, their numbers dwindling, until being rescued the next day. His service to his country was something he talked about very little, but of which he became increasingly proud during his later years. For his actions that day, bravery under fire, and selflessly helping wounded shipmates during a fierce fight with kamikaze aircraft, Bob was awarded the Silver Star, our country's third highest decoration.
Upon his return to the states, Bob moved with an oil field company to Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he met the love of his life, MaryLu Cude. Bob and MaryLu were married on April 8, 1947, and shared 62 wonderful years together. Bob helped his father-in-law, Clayton Cude, in building and operating a restaurant and service station, which were part of the Cude family businesses.
Bob enjoyed an active and full life spending time with family, friends and playing golf. He was blessed with good health through his 90th birthday and up until recently.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, MaryLu; his parents; his brother, George J. Shirey; and his sister, Mildred Lorenzen.
Survivors include his son, Rick Shirey and his wife, Robin of Bozeman, Montana; daughter, Sheree Burkett and husband, Bill of Houston, Texas; brothers, Bill Shirey and wife, Shirley of Estes Park, Colorado, and Jim Shirey and wife, Judy of Southlake, Texas; sister, Margaret Moorman of Deer Park, Texas; sisters-in-law, Betty Sue Clarke and Pat Cude; brother-in-law, Doug Cude and wife, Martha, all of Ardmore, Oklahoma; grandchildren, Rob Shirey, Katy Easter and their mother, Lyn Olafson, and Caroline Burkett; great-granddaughter, Mikaelyn Easter; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family is grateful for the compassionate care given to Bob by the staff at the Ardmore Veterans Center and especially by his friend and caregiver, Pete Carroll and Pete's wife, Diane.
Memorial services for Bob will be 11 a.m. Friday, November 9, 2012, at the Harvey-Douglas Centennial Chapel with the Rev. Dan Patman officiating. Inurnment with military honors will follow at the Rose Hill Cemetery.
Page 2 of 2 - Memorials may be made to the Ardmore Veteran's Center or the charity of choice.
Online condolences may be sent to www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.