Shirley Ann Milton (affectionately called “Shirley Ann”) was born on March 6, 1937 in Ellicott City, MD. She was the second of three beautiful daughters born to the late Thomas and Margaret Esther Hebron. At the age of 3, after the untimely death of her mother, Shirley went to live with her Uncle Erving and Aunt Irene in Clarksville, Md.
Shirley’s high school years were spent at Harriet Tubman High School in Columbia, Md. There, she was affectionately called “Teeny” because of her small stature. Shirley was active during her years at Tubman. She participated, all four years, on the student council, the honor society, and the safety patrol. She also was a member of the NAACP and commercial club.
Additionally, Shirley had a love of writing. In her early years she kept a journal of poems by her bed and enjoyed sharing them with family and friends.
During her high school years, she found love with Issac Oliver Simms; they later married. After her first marriage ended, Shirley found love again. She said, “I do” to James Edward Milton. They spent the rest of their years together until his death in 2016. During that time, she raised seven girls and three boys. Shirley loved her children and desired to teach them the importance of daily worship to God and reading their bibles. She prayed that God would be the center and focus of their lives. She also believed that having ten children did not mean a dirty home. Every lesson she taught was to teach the value of living clean and orderly lives. Everybody played a part in keeping the home running well. She ran a tight ship, but her children and God were dear to her heart.
She was an amazing cook and baker; known especially for her delicious homemade rolls. Some of her other specialties were vegetarian dishes, homemade root beer, cookies, bread pudding and cakes; she loved to make German Chocolate Cakes for family and friends’ birthdays. For years she prepared baked goods for patients in hospice care.
She was known as a prayer warrior; volunteering as a Bible worker and literature evangelist; working with numerous pastors in crusades and seminars throughout various states. As a result, many people were led to Christ.
Shirley was a woman who was always willing to help those in need, including family, friends and even strangers. All were welcomed into her home. We would have Friday night vespers with a house full of teenagers singing and praying. She even was the unofficial taxi driver; piling in all who could fit, as we headed to church for various activities. She also chauffeured many relatives and friends to school, on various occasions; she was dependable and respected by all! She enjoyed church and loved singing hymns. In additional to church, you could find her singing or humming them around the house; it was very comforting. She was truly an amazing woman of God.
Later in life, she was diagnosed with an illness and was given a short period of time to live. However, she far surpassed the doctor’s prognosis. She was a fighter and lived an additional five years; due, first and foremost, to God’s amazing love, mercy and grace. She was given the best of care over the years, by her daughter, primary caregiver, Shirley “Sissy” Johnson. The other children were also there to help. What a blessing it was to be cared for in her home.
During the early hours of Tuesday, December 29th, 2020, the Lord called Shirley to rest. She fought a good fight and has completed her life’s journey. She will truly be missed. We cannot wait for the day when Jesus’ second coming will reunite us all again. Shirley leaves to cherish her memory: 10 children, Robin (Earl), Shirley (Barry), Keith, Valarie (Allen), Kim (DeWayn), Robert (Lovey), Rodney (Lois), Sheri (Caleb), Teri (O.B.), Lisa (Andre), one sister Esther Margaret (Henry), and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great children, nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Margaret Esther Hebron, sister Gladys Marie and husband, James Edward Milton.
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