Mr. Ernest “Milt” Shirley, age 82 of Fernandina Beach, FL passed away on Monday, September 24, 2018 at his residence.
He was born on January 21, 1936 in Ruston, Louisiana and was adopted by the late Ernest Middleton Shirley and Eva Henderson. While attending college at Louisiana Poly Technical in Ruston, he met the former Janell “Sutsy” Hyde. She already had a boyfriend, but it was “meant to be”.
Together they lived all over the south until moving to Fernandina Beach, Florida in 1964 so their son could attend the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, FL. Milt was employed as a Chemist for Rayonier for many years until he retired. They lived here for the past 54 years and at one time lived on the “highest point” on Amelia Island.
He was very active in local politics and was elected as a city commissioner after serving on the Nassau County School Board for 8 years.
Milt served as Mayor for Fernandina Beach, Florida in 1989. During his term, the City Commission dedicated themselves to preventing high-rise buildings along our shores and maintaining beach access.
Among his many hobbies and pursuits, Milt was passionate about Art. His original paintings hang on the walls of his home and he regularly showed his work at various art fairs locally and other states. He grew up reading comic books, Captain Marvel being his favorite, and as an adult, still loved them. He enjoyed crossword puzzles and in the evenings at home, sitting on his porch, smoking a good cigar and drinking “two fingers” of scotch. Milt would get together with his friends five days a week, drink coffee and discuss local news and politics.
According to Milt, two of his most favorite things were going to a restaurant with soft piano music playing in the background and dancing with his beloved “Sutsy”.
He is preceded in death by a sister, Eva Jeanne Shirley and his parents.
He leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Janell “Sutsy” Shirley of Fernandina Beach, FL; his children, Paul William Shirley of Fernandina Beach, FL, Lola Shirley Waldrip and her husband Rodney of Key Largo, FL and adopted daughter Mignon Sangree Etcheverry; adopted brother, Henry Shirley; grandson, Landin Fredrick Waldrip and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be at 2:00 pm on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at First Baptist Church in Fernandina Beach, FL.
The family requests that donations be made in Milt’s memory to the charity of one’s choice.