In Memory of





Obituary for Shirley Jean Wilson (Smith)

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Shirley Jean Smith-Wilson 85, of Upper Marlboro, MD went on to be with the Lord on Sunday January 21, 2024. Shirley was born on September 14, 1938, to Oakley Smith, Sr. and Helen Turner in Kansas City, Kansas. Shirley’s childhood was rich with an extensive and loving family that helped to support and raise her. She joined the First Baptist Church (Kansas City, Kansas) at an early age where she attended Sunday school. She attended public school in Kansas City, Kansas graduating from Summer High School in May of 1958. After Shirley graduated from Sumner High School, she went on to study education at the University of Denver, Denver Colorado. She further her education attending Prince George’s Community College and George Washington University. She received a degree in elementary education with a concentration in special education from George Washington University.

In 1959, Shirley met Robert A. Wilson at the Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Shirley and Robert wed on May 17, 1960; they almost had sixty-four years of wedded bliss! Shirley and Robert went on to have one child, Helene A. Wilson-Johnson. Upon arriving in the Metropolitan area, Shirley joined Salem Baptist Church, located in Northwest, District of Columbia. She loved to sing and became a member Choir # One, singing second soprano.
While at Salem Baptist Church, she joined the Deaconess Board where she chaired the annual Kwanzaa celebration for over ten years. Shirley decided that she wanted to spend more time with her daughter and grandson by attending the same church. So, on the first Sunday in January 1999, she joined St. Paul Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, MD. During her tenure at St. Paul Church, she became a candidate for the Deacon Ministry. Shirley accompanied her husband to the St. Paul Chapel when he became Chaplain.

Shirley began her educator journey in 1967 as an employee of the District of Columbia Public School System. Three years later, she was employed with the Prince George’s County Public School system. In 2005, Shirley retired after thirty-five years with the Prince George’s County Public School System. During her retirement years, she enjoyed traveling, attending plays on Broadway, and going to various five-star restaurants in the DC Metropolitan area before her health declined.

Shirley was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend. Family meant everything to her, and she was careful to lead by example. She taught us well! She enjoyed teaching and especially enjoyed creating her own clothing patterns from scratch using newspaper and sewing outfits. Anyone who knew Shirley would agree she was fiercely independent right up to the end of her life.

Shirley was predeceased in death by her grandparents, parents, great aunts, and great uncles, brothers-in-love, and sisters-in-love. She is survived by her husband of almost sixty-four years (Rev. Robert A. Wilson), daughter (Helene Wilson-Johnson), Grandson (Melvin L. Johnson, Jr.), Great-Granddaughter (Maya D. Yull-Johnson), Aunt (Christine Johnson), Sister (Stella Thompson), Brother (Glen Smith), Brother (Darin Smith) Sister (Marcia Smith), Sister (Jackie Smith), Brother (Kenny Smith), Sister-in-love (Margaret Coates), Brother-in-love (Irving Wilson, Jr), Brother-in-love (James Johnson), and Sister-in-love (Ruby Wilson), along with a hosts of cherished nieces, nephews.

Services will be held at J.B. Jenkins Funeral Home on Saturday February 17, 2024:
Wake: 3:30-4:30 PM
Service: 4:30-5:30 PM
The family request no flowers be sent to the Funeral home. A private interment will be held later at the Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery.