Surrounded by his loving family, our beloved and cherished, Ronald Dennis Shirley aka “Ronnie, Shirl, Sherpa,” age 70, went to be with our Lord on December 27 in Chandler, Arizona after a courageous battle with cancer. He is preceded in death by Baby Shirley, his parents Ben and Corinne Shirley and childhood friend Mike Manning. He is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 40 years Margo Shirley; their two children, daughter Lindsey and husband Paul, and son Aaron (Audrey); grandchildren Adam Michael, Liam Santiago and Maggie Corinne; in-laws Marianne Candelario and Rolando and Grace Romero; sister Shelly Budris; first cousin Lydia Steinig and family; brother-in-law Landie Romero (Stephanie); sister-in-law Lori Culbreth (Steve); nephews Justin, Landie, Jeremy (Shannon) and Brandon Romero, Caleb and Cyrus Armjio and Jason Budris; grand-nephews Ben and Jazz; compadres, David and Pam DeLaO and Bill and Nancy Roybal along with numerous godchildren and lifelong friends.
Ron graduated from St. Michael’s High School in 1966 and New Mexico State University in 1972 with a degree in social work. He lived his life serving the needs of others as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, boss, community member and coach. He worked as a social worker for La Familia Medical Center and Santa Fe Public Schools. He retired from the City of Santa Fe Parks and Recreation Department in 2007 as director where he spent 28 years serving the needs of the community and beautifying his beloved city. After retirement he continued to work for the Santa Fe Public Schools as interim athletic manager at Santa Fe High School. He served on many boards and committees including but not limited to the Santa Fe Independent Youth League and Santa Maria de la Paz Building Committee.
He loved spending time outside with his grandchildren fishing, camping and playing in his backyard; watching John Wayne westerns and talking sports. His passion for sports was known by all, especially his love for the New York Yankees, New York Giants and Norte Dame football. Ron’s presence, wisdom and kind heartedness will be deeply missed.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, January 10 at 6:00 p.m. at Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Church followed by a rosary at 7:00 p.m. Mass of the Christian burial will be held on Friday, January 11 at 10 a.m. at Santa Maria de la Paz with a burial at Rosario Cemetery. A celebration of life will follow at the Elks Lodge. Serving as pallbearers are Tom Manning, Randy Whittemore, Dennis Casados, Dave Gurule, Bob Martinez, Richard Fiedler, Ruben Lovato, Landie Romero Sr. and David De La O.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Carmelite Monastery at 49 Mt Carmel Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505.