Cover photo for Shirley Carter's Obituary
Shirley Carter Profile Photo
1934 Shirley 2018

Shirley Carter

January 17, 1934 — October 31, 2018

Shirley Mae Wilegus Carter, 84, passed away peacefully in Shelby, NC on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 following a life lived with joy, happiness and a loving family…as well as a lifelong devotion to Jesus Christ.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Billy Carter, her infant daughter JoAnn Elaine Carter, and her parents, Earl and Flora Wilegus of Foristell, Missouri. She is survived by her sister, Carolyn Girault, her sons John, Allan and wife Meg, grandson Jerry and wife Kylie, grandaugther Candice Taylor and husband Dennis, and numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives.
Shirley was born on January 17, 1934 in Foristell, Missouri. After graduating high school, she worked as a secretary at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with Billy. They were married in 1955 and eventually had three children, John, Allan and JoAnn. Shirley and Billy later moved back to Billy's home state of North Carolina. Although they first lived in Shelby, the family eventually moved to several cities in the state before finally returning to Shelby for good. Except for a short stint as a store clerk, Shirley spent her days with great pride and joy in being a housewife and mother. She was a highly praised cook. She loved gardening and plants and was particularly fond of knickknacks.
Shirley was a friend to all. Although she could be somewhat shy, she had a warmth, sweetness and kindness that endeared her to all. She was loved by everyone. And she was fair and honest to a fault. For instance, following a trip to the grocery store years ago, she realized when she got home the cashier had given her three cents more in change than she was supposed to receive. So Shirley grabbed her purse and the boys, drove back to the store, and returned the money. She was a woman of principle.
More than anything, Shirley was the living embodiment of love as it is taught to us in 1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. That was Shirley Carter. She loved unconditionally.
For many years, Shirley attended Aldersgate Methodist Church and later Elizabeth Baptist Church. She spent the last few years of her life living with Allan and Meg, who delighted in her wit, humor and good nature. She was blessed with the loving caregiving provided by Allan and Meg as well as the joyful companionship of Paco, their dog. And during visits by John, who also provided care, the house overflowed with love and laughter! And Shirley loved to laugh!
No one will ever be able to fill the void left by our wonderful mom, but we can all take great comfort in the always positive life-lessons she taught us, most notably that of a living example of love, faith, hope and devotion.
The family wishes to give thanks to the many caregivers who attended to Shirley, including Jewel Pepper, Dr. Calvin Caunt and his staff, the staff of the Life Enrichment Center, and the staff of White Oak Manor.
A viewing will be held at Cleveland Funeral Services and Crematory in Shelby on Monday, November 5 at 1:00, followed by graveside services at Cleveland Memorial Park at 2:30 conducted by Rev. Jim Lytle.
To sign the guest book, please go to
A service of Cleveland Funeral Services & Crematory, Inc.

  • Visitation

    November 05, 2018
    1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

    Cleveland Funeral Services Chapel

    2518 W. Dixon Blvd.
    Shelby, NC
    (704) 487-5811
  • Graveside Service

    November 05, 2018
    2:30 PM

    Cleveland Memorial Park

    1225 College Avenue
    Shelby, NC
    (704) 434-6081
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Carter, please visit our flower store.


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