Obituary: Shirley Jo George Greenfield

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Mrs. Shirley Jo George Greenfield passed peacefully and painlessly from this world on the afternoon of Oct. 13, 2020, at UAMS in Little Rock from complications related to Covid-19. Her final surrender was not to Death, but to her God, who showed her His mercy first through her team of caring providers and then by directly taking her hand and guiding her gently across the finish line to eternal victory and a well-deserved rest.

Shirley is reunited with her beloved husband of 50 years, Larry Greenfield, her mother Geneva Catterlin George, and her father King George, all from Southside, Arkansas; her uncle, Leroy Catterlin of Bald Knob, Arkansas; and her sister-in-law, Shirley Greenfield Martin of Batesville, Arkansas.

Her closest surviving family members are her son and daughter-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Shannon and Leah Greenfield in Little Rock, Arkansas; her grandson, Evan Greenfield, at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville; her granddaughter, Julia Greenfield, at the University of Denver in Colorado; her cousin, Rita Catterlin Wilson of Southside; two nieces, Laura Martin Morris of Batesville, Arkansas, and Amy Martin Caplinger in Jonesboro, Arkansas; two great-nieces, Marley Anderson of Southside and Olivia Caplinger in Jonesboro; a great-nephew, Stone Caplinger in Jonesboro; and her brother-in-law, Harlon Martin of Batesville. She is survived as well by Thelma and Louise, her Shih Tzus and constant companions for the past seven years.

Shirley’s love and respect for her husband Larry were of depth and commitment that is increasingly rare in today’s world. He was her anchor, she was the wind in his sails. They loved traveling together across the US with friends, eventually visiting 49 states (you can’t get a motor home to Hawaii). When he was stricken with dementia far too soon, Shirley provided for his every need until the very end in Jan. 2014. They were truly special individuals, but together they were ”a whole that was more than the sum of its parts.”

Shirley’s three primary roles in life were as daughter, wife, and mother. Shannon was her pride and joy and, growing up, provided constant amusement to her. She was so proud of her son – his education and career path as a psychologist, his faith and work ethic, and the family he built with his wife, Leah. As Shirley aged and endured several health difficulties, Shannon was right by her side, providing guidance and bringing them together in loving support.

Shirley’s many friendships were dear to her. Some of those connections were so close that the line between friends and family disappeared. They know who they are. She loved her community, her neighbors, her church family, and was proud to be a Southsidian. She graduated from Southside High School, moved to Little Rock for a brief time after she and Larry were married, but moved back in 1972 to the house where she would live the rest of her life.

Shirley loved music. She was gifted with an angel’s voice and could play nearly any stringed instrument she picked up. She sang at countless weddings, funerals, churches, and celebrations throughout Independence County for nearly 50 years. She performed regularly at the Ozark Folk Center for several years, sang at the Louisiana Hayride, and recorded the world-wide smash hit ”Hello Whiskey” in a studio in Concord. She enjoyed few things more than getting together with others to play music, whether it was just her and her dad picking the banjo over morning coffee, a full-fledged hootenanny with a house full of friends, or a bluegrass festival anywhere within striking distance of an RV. God spoke to Shirley through music, and through her music, God spoke to others.

Shirley was a personality who was larger than life, adding ”sass with class” to any event. She was prone to wear silly hats, had an almost unlimited number of colorful phrases at her disposal, and was a strong believer that well-behaved women rarely made history. She was a unique blend of Scarlett O’Hara and Grannie Clampett. There was no stranger she wouldn’t help and no friend she wouldn’t ”give a chewin” if she deemed it necessary. Shirley was indescribably unique and there will never be another exactly like her. The daughter of a King who married a prince, how could she be anything other than royalty? Heaven’s a little brighter and this world is shade dimmer in her absence, but when all is said and done, wasn’t it worth it to know her?

Because of the risks associated with gatherings during the pandemic, there will be no traditional visitation or funeral service at this time. However, you are invited to visit her Facebook page, Shirley Jo Greenfield, to share memories, post pictures, and view a special slideshow that will be posted soon. You may also sign the virtual logbook at Roller-Crouch funeral home, which will contain a link to Shirley’s Facebook page, as well.

In lieu of flowers or food, those wishing to honor Shirley’s memory with a gift are asked to do so through a contribution in her name to the Independence County Humane Society or to Fellowship Baptist Church in Southside.

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