Shirley Ann Coley was born August 25, 1943 in Prentiss, Mississippi to the parents of RC and Joanna Polk. Shirley was the 5th child of ten children.
In 1957 The Polk Family moved to Long Beach, CA where Shirley attended L.B. Poly High School. She met a young man by the name of Leroy Coley on June 21, 1961. They had a two-year courtship when Leroy asked Shirley to marry him.
Shirley married Leroy on June 16, 1963. They raised six children together and Shirley was a stay at home mom. Shirley began working at the Long Beach VA Hospital as a Cook in 1966. The couple worked and saved their money in order to buy a home for their growing family. So, in 1969 The Coley’s purchase their first home on the Westside of Long Beach. Shirley retired from the VA Hospital in 1986 and spent her later years enjoying life. Shirley loved her husband, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She never forgot a birthday or special occasion where they were involved.
Shirley received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age. She joined New Hope Baptist Church in or around 1965. Sis. Coley loved the Lord and loved serving in the church. She served as Sunday School Secretary, Discipleship Training Secretary, A Willing Worker, and Served in the Kitchen Ministry. The Lord blessed Sis. Coley with the gift of cooking. She was always willing to cook for many events at the church whether it was the church picnic, anniversaries, and for bereavement. Sis. Coley loved to cook, and she cooked with SOUL! She always cooked from scratch and rarely used a recipe. One of her favorite sayings was, “Anyone who thinks they can beat me cooking, better go bed early and get up before the Sunrise!” Not only did Sis. Coley cook for her family, and church family but she also cooked for her community. She was asked by various City Council and School Board Candidates to cook her famous Collard Greens and Cornbread, Mac and Cheese, 7-up Pound Cakes, and let us not forget her Sweet Potato Pies!! (Just to Name A Few) Sis. Coley would also volunteer to cook cakes and pies for the PTA School Carnival.
Sis. Coley also had a love for Hats! She would adorn a beautiful hat almost every Sunday for Church. When her daughters would borrow one of her hats she would say, “Don’t Forget to Bring My Hat Back!” Note: The ladies of the Coley Family will be wearing one of Sis. Coley’s hats in her honor.
Sis. Coley loved sports. It did not matter what type of sport it was, she watched it on television. However, she was a true Lakers and Sparks fan, win or lose she was with them all the way! Yes…she had a Lakers Hat as well!
Sis. Coley loved people and invited them to her home. She was loved by her neighbors and their children. Everyone was welcomed at The Coley Home at any time. The neighborhood children gave her the nickname Mamma Coley because she was like a second mother to them. She got on their case when they did something wrong and praised them when they did something good.
Fighting the Good Fight: Sis Coley was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure in 2013 and Stage 4 Breast Cancer in 2017. Sis. Coley remained strong in her faith to the Lord. When people would ask her how she was doing she would say, “I Won’t Complain.” She knew every day was a blessing; and did not want the focus on her but on the Lord. The Lord allowed Sis. Coley to function everyday without pain or suffering (You wouldn’t even know Sister Coley was sick). She knew it was because of God’s Grace and Mercy towards her. We knew it was the Beauty of the Lord, which shined upon her.
On Monday, September 23, 2019 the Lord called Sis. Coley home to be with her Heavenly Father.
Sis. Coley leaves to cherish her memory, her Loving and Devoted husband Deacon Leroy Coley Sr, six children: Jeffery K, Polk, Terry R. Boyd, La Rhonda Y. Coley, Leroy (Dawn) Coley, Anita S. Coley, and Sherie (Larry) Gordon; 11 Grandchildren- Jonathon M. Polk, Le Keda L. Coley, De Andre Coley, Brittney Coley, Marques J. Roy, Ostin J. Thomas, Tori N. Starke, Jordon Polk, Justin Coley, Lindsey Polk, and Gary Turner Jr., 14 Great-Grandchildren., three brothers: Charles Ray(Sara) Polk, Roger(Alice) Polk, Joe(Dorothy) and Craig Polk, one sister: Anna Jean Polk, and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Sis. Coley was proceeded in death by her parents, RC and Joanna Polk, three brothers: Marvin Polk, James Polk, and Larry Polk, and one sister: Eular C. Smith.
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