Shirley Wildes

Obituary of Shirley Black Wildes

Shirley Black Wildes went to be home with the Lord on May 8, 2021 in Clearwater, Florida at age 89. She was born in 1931 in West Palm Beach, Florida to the late Arthur Clifton Black and Donnella Ralls Black.  Shirley graduated from Florida State University with a degree in education in 1952 and was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.  After graduation, Shirley taught elementary school in Panama City, Florida to be near her fiancé, Ronald Wildes, then stationed at Tyndall AFB. They married April 1952 in Panama City Florida.

Shirley relished the adventure of being a military spouse and created a loving home in each base housing assignment across the country and overseas. First in Japan, then in Germany, she learned the language, grew to love the culture, and forged lifelong friendships.  

Finally settling in St. Petersburg after Ron’s retirement from the Air Force, Shirley was a kindergarten teacher and later was a social worker. She was an avid painter, cook, gardener, and loving grandmother. She taught Sunday School and directed many vacation Bible Schools at Northwest Presbyterian Church.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Ronald Wildes and her parents, Arthur Clifton Black and Donnella Ralls Black.  She is survived by three children, David (Deb Nixon) Wildes, Susan (John) Parrish, and Barbara Clark, ten grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Cliff (Janie) Black of Orlando, Florida, and brothers-in-law, Gilman Wildes and Shelton Wildes.

A small memorial and celebratory service will be held at Northwest Presbyterian Church with mask and social distancing protocols, followed by a private family service at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Shirley’s name to Northwest Presbyterian Church, St. Petersburg, or to Madonna Ptak Morton Plant Rehabilitation Center.

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