William T. Shirley, 83, known as Tom and wife Naomi L. Shirley, 75, both went to be with our Lord on March 15, 2014. They are survived by Tom's sister Doris Nell Brown & family, pre-deceased by brother Barney V. Shirley & survived by sister in law Emily & family, their children Tommy & his wife Elaine, Troy & his wife Suzanne, daughter Melanie & her pre-deceased husband Rocky Davis, Ray & his wife Nancy Parks, pre-deceased by son Barney Shirley and grandchildren Shayne, TJ & Taylor Shirley, pre-deceased by Cody Davis, survived by Shannon & Blake Davis and Billie Ray, Katherine & Regis Parks.
Tom was born in Texas and moved to Florida as a child. He had a career as a Lieutenant in the Florida Game Commission for 30 years and retired in 1985.
Tom & Naomi married in 1969 and lived loving and serving the causes of the Everglades with passion.
Both were dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and wetlands. They had a love of nature here and abroad together especially in the Amazon and Africa.
Together they frequented Iquitos in the Amazon which was one of their favorite retreats and where he desired to catch the worlds greatest catfish.
Naomi was born in Putnam County, WV and moved to Florida with Arthur and Verba Winkler settling in Hialeah. She worked at Silver Drugs where she met Tom. They combined families and had Barney in 1970. She became a nurse working at Cleveland Clinic until she retired.
After raising a family in Miami they moved to Southwest Ranches where they were closer to the Glades spending years airboating and camping in the river of grass. Both supported the sportsman & many of their events & activities.
Tom has received many honors and awards over the years for conservation causes. He was proud of his accomplishment as an author of "Everglades Patrol".
He will always be known as a true Gladesman.
Both were loved and will be missed much by all. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Florida Wildlife Federation.
Visitation at Fred Hunter's Funeral Home, 2401 S. University Drive, Thursday 6:00 - 9:00 pm, funeral service Friday at 11:00 am, interment Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston, FL
Someone has supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.
Buy Gift Now
You have my deepest sympathy and empathy in you loss. During such a time I was greatly encouraged by a promise I found in the Bible at Revelation 21:3, 4 where a time will come when we will not experience the suffering that come from this type of tragedy. With this thought in mind I invite you to visit www.jw.org, there you will find more information on Gods promise of the resurrection.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest sympathy. May you find comfort from your memories, as well as God's word the bible. Why do people we love die? Romans 5:12 says: "That is why, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned." How loving of God to promise what is found at Revelation 21:4 which says, "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away."
Our deepest sympathies to Tom and Naomi's families. We meet them years ago when my sister Bonnie was working for GFC and remember them both fondly. They were an amazing couple. They taught so many people about the Everglades and to love it. Peaceful journey dear friends.
you are all in my thoughts and prayers..god bless u all..they were beautiful precious people...rest in peace..
I met Tom and Naomi when I worked for the Game Commission in Kendall in the late 60s. He was always a gentleman, kind to everyone, and passionate about his family and the Everglades. Rest in peace dear friends.
My deepest sympathies to the Shirley Family. I went to school with Melanie. There were always special critters convalescing at the Shirley house at various times and always big smiles to greet us.
My mother's car broke down near Ft Pierce and Mr Shirley (not knowing who we were) gave us a ride home.
Such good and kind people ...
God bless you all.
I am so sorry for your loss, they were a sweet couple blessed by their own company and that of their family. May Jehovah God's loving words of having those who have passed away return to us in a perfect world, bring comfort to all those who feel Tom and Naomi's abscence. Acts 24:15 states "there is going to be a resurrection" and we can be sure His word will not fail. I hope you can find consolation in memories, the promise of a resurrection, and the "God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).
I wlll always remember the Airboat Rides that Tom guided us on. His stories were great fun to listen to and his book was great reading. I offer my condolences to the Shirley and Davis Families. I know this is a very sad time for you, but time will heal and I am sure they are in a far greater place than we are. God bless you and thanks for sharing your Grand Parents with the Everglades Community.
Our sincere condolences to all. Many good memories that take us back to the good ole days!
So truly sorry for your loss. I remember your parents as sweet loving people. Their memories will always be in your heart.
I was employed with GFC back in 1969 and had the good fortune to work with Lt.Shirley. And then I met Naomi and their loving family. Since then we've been close friends over the years and share many lovely times together. I will always hold those fond memories close to my heart. I know all who knew them feel a great loss. They wer such an amzing couple. My deepest sympathy to the Shirley Family during this difficult time.
Our prayers and thoughts are with you all!
Our prayers are with the family in the loss of Tom and Naomi. They were true friends for many years. Had lots of good times together.
I had the blessing of having Tom as my supervisor for most of my carrer as a Wildlife officer. He loved the Glades and the man who work with and for him. The Everglades lost a protector, we all lost a great friend. In Naomi Tom found his life long partner, who also loved the Everglades. They were a fine loving couple. My condolences go to the families.
We will miss you both. Our condolences to Tom and Naomi's families. We will keep you all in our prayers. May God keep you both.
My sincere condolences to all of Tom and Naomi's families.
My deepest condolences to the family. May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding be with you at this difficult time. (Philippians 4:6,7)
PhotosAdd a photo
Healing Registry Unavailable at the Moment!