William "Bill" D. Shirley

November 18, 1942January 22, 2019

William “Bill” D. Shirley, age 76 of Rapid City, passed away Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at the Pavilions in Traverse City after a two year battle with adrenal cancer. Bill was born in Pontiac, MI on November 18, 1942 to William and Elsia Lamoine(Criger) Shirley. He graduated from Pontiac Central High School in 1960 and went on to attend Oakland University where he earned a BA in Education and a Masters Degree in Language Arts and Reading. On November 16, 1963 he married Sharon Spurlock of Waterford. They were married for 55 happy years.

Bill was a teacher in the Pontiac Schools for 30 years, retiring in 1997. He continued to teach and mentor beginning teachers at Oakland University for an additional seven years. In 2004, his wife Sharon retired and they were able to move up north permanently. Their home is near Torch Lake in Rapid City.

Bill was an active member at both the First Presbyterian Church in Elk Rapids and the First Presbyterian Church in Ocala, Florida, where they spent their winters. He sang in the choir at both churches. He loved the outdoors and spent his time biking, camping, walking, and boating. He also enjoyed fishing with his son on Torch Lake, reading, visiting bakeries, and eating chocolate. He loved classic cars and would drive his ‘68 Camero to car shows and events.

He is lovingly remembered as a very patient, kind, and soft spoken man with a wonderful sense of humor.

Bill is survived by his wife Sharon, daughter; Amy (Brian) Carpenter, and son Robert Shirley. Also surviving are two nieces; Rebekah (Terence) Kreitner and Christina (William) Nalen, brother-in-law Richard Mordaunt, and cousin Steven Criger. He was also the “adopted Grandpa” of Katelyn and Nicholas Carpenter, and his grandcat Midnight. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Karen Mourdaunt.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 404 Spruce St. in Elk Rapids, Pastor Jim Porter officiating. Visitation with the family will begin at the church at 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.

Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers are appreciated in his memory to the First Presbyterian Church in Elk Rapids or Ocala.


  • First Presbyterian Church


  • Memorial Gathering Saturday, January 26, 2019
  • Memorial Service Saturday, January 26, 2019

William "Bill" D. Shirley

have a memory or condolence to add?

Don MacQuarrie

January 28, 2019

Pat and I were saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. Even though years have flown by since those days in Pontiac, we have fond memories of each of the Shirley family, Bill, Sharon, Amy and Bob. From car pooling to Lincoln, following in Bill’s footsteps at Jefferson, a classroom at Whitfield and dinner on Bigelow Road, you all became part of our lives. Bill Was a positive influence on many in the Pontiac School District and through Oakland University. Life has a way of taking each of us on our individual journey. There are special people we meet along the way. Bill was certainly one of them. Our thoughts are with each of you as you celebrate his life and mourn his passing.

Cathy Spurlock Hodges

January 25, 2019

I'm so sorry for your loss, Sharon. You and your family are in my prayers.

Jody Ewing

January 23, 2019

Amy, Bob and Sharon -

Your Dad will be missed because he was such a kind man and left many great memories. It is hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since I met Amy and was introduced to the Shirley family. Mr. Shirley always welcomed me in and, in particular, I will always remember the weekends up north with very fond memories.

Sending my deepest condolences and may God bless you with His peace.

Jody (Hull) Ewing

james CERANO

January 23, 2019

The boat ride back from East Port on Torch Lake. Amy an infant. My boat was an over powered 15' fiberglass shell with aluminum lawn chairs for seats. The wind kicked up to 17 knots. Bill taped me on the shoulder and said, "look behind you" Sharon and Kathy were hanging on to keep their cheap patio Charis from collapsing while Amy was sound asleep on the floor . Water was pouring in over the sides of the boat luckily was exiting over the transom a bit faster that it was coming in. We made it safe and sound as I attempted to introduce Bill to Jack Daniels and the power of Saint Christopher . We had our good times. Bill, I miss you brother.

Paula Jorge

January 22, 2019

Sharon and family,
So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. We will miss him in the choir.
Paula Jorge