Shirley Elizabeth Finnell

September 10, 1928November 17, 2021
Play Tribute Movie

Shirley Elizabeth Turner Finnell, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away in the early morning hours on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at her Houston home of 51 years. She was 93 years old.

Shirley was born on September 10, 1928 in Mulino, Oregon to Roscoe Marion and Mildred Elizabeth Morgan Turner. She and her younger brother, Robert, were raised and attended school in Aberdeen, Washington until the family moved to Fairbanks, Alaska where Shirley spent her sophomore year. Shirley completed the final two years of her high school education in Palouse, Washington and went on to take business classes at Kinman Business School and later, Washington State University.

She met the love of her life, George Finnell, on the dance floor of a WSU campus event during the spring of 1948. The two were married seven months later on November 23, 1948 and spent 60 wonderful years together until George’s passing.

During their marriage, George’s engineering position with Shell Chemical took the couple to Torrance, California, Ridgewood, New Jersey, and Houston. While raising three daughters, Shirley participated in many side business endeavors with her husband. In Torrance, she helped to maintain and run apartments they owned, and later helped open and operate a weekend business selling collectible coins. In Ridgewood, Shirley worked for the Board of Realtors, and in Houston, after George left Shell, the couple bought the Forget Me Not Antiques store where they began second careers together, working side-by-side every day for over two decades.

Shirley had a life-long interest in local and national politics. Over the years she campaigned door to door for everything from presidential elections and congressional seats to neighborhood causes. In Thornwood, Shirley was head of the Beautification Committee and very proud of her work to gain approval for and fund the landscaping of the entrances and pool through fundraisers and donations.

Shirley enjoyed sewing and sewed baby quilts for each of her grandchildren and most of her great-grandchildren. At the time of her passing, she was working to finish the Grandmother’s Garden quilt she started 30 years ago. Shirley also enjoyed being in her kitchen. Nothing made her happier than hosting all the major family gatherings for holidays and special events, something she did for over 40 years.

However, Shirley’s greatest joy in life was spending time with her growing family. She had three daughters, six granddaughters, and eight great-grandchildren. She felt blessed to be able to watch four of her granddaughters and five of her great-grandchildren grow up on the west side of Houston. She referred to her Houston great-grandchildren as “the Fab Five” and delighted in attending the children’s events and in being called “GG” by them.

Shirley is predeceased by her loving husband of 60 years, George Edwin Finnell. She is survived by three daughters: Terry Lauten of Chico, California; April Kveton and husband, Edward, of Sealy; and Cheryl Stark, of Houston. She is also survived by six granddaughters: Leslie Williams, of Los Angeles, California; Erin Kovar and husband, Lucas, of San Jose, California; Bonnie Kveton, of Houston; Andrea Mossa and husband, Randy, of Traverse City, Michigan; Jessica Donlin and husband, Brendan, of Cypress; and Aimee La Porte and husband, Hayden, of Cypress. Shirley was blessed with eight great-grandchildren: Conor, Max, Jack, Colin, Ella, Elissa, Milah, and Ben.


  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, November 27, 2021


Shirley Elizabeth Finnell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Syed Hasan

November 25, 2021

I can’t express how much I admired her for the causes she believed in and the energy she had to all she did for Thornwood. She will be greatly missed. My condolences to the family.

Connie Schneider

November 24, 2021

John and I are so sad to miss Shirley's memorial service because we will not be in town. Shirley was a good friend and great lady, and she worked hard for all the causes she supported. She will be missed by many! ♥