Memorial Oaks Funeral Home & Cemetery

13001 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX


Shirley Elaine Gaston

January 4, 1931July 21, 2020

Shirley Elaine Gaston has been entrusted into the care of Memorial Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery.

Shirley Elaine Gaston, age 89, of Montgomery, Texas passed away on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. She was born January 4, 1931 in Houston, Texas to Jennie Mae Holditch and Stanley Clayton Grant.

Shirley grew up in The Heights, Houston, Texas at her father’s home on the corner of Ashland and 21st street. She graduated from Reagan High School. Shirley was a beloved wife, mother, homemaker and friend, she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Shirley is preceded by her siblings, Glenn, Gladys and Nelda.

Shirley is survived by her loving husband, Ernest Gaston son, John Gaston and his wife, Tina Bohnstedt.

The family would like to give special thanks to Methodist Hospital The Woodlands and her home care givers, Keidra Thomas, Emma Cleveland and Tish Tims.

Shirley loved her son John’s wife Tina and her involvement in the world of ballet. Tina was an accomplished ballet dancer. She is currently a ballet teacher and choreographer. Shirley would have been pleased to help Houston Ballet in these difficult times for the Arts.

Due to current restrictions and safety concerns regarding Covid-19, a private family burial is planned. The graveside service will be livestreamed via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MemorialOaks/ on Monday the 27th of July, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. The livestream will be available 5 minutes prior to the start of service.

In lieu of flowers we would ask that you make a donation in Shirley’s memory to Houston Ballet Crisis Relief Fund. Contributions are currently being matched dollar for dollar: https://give.houstonballet.org/campaign/houston-ballet-crisis-relief-fund/c292683

Please do not hesitate to leave a fond memory, share a favorite story, a favorite photograph or express a kind word or condolence at www.memorialoaksfunerals.com for the Gaston family.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Shirley Elaine Gaston

have a memory or condolence to add?

John Bernard

July 27, 2020

It is not often that one can say that they have known someone for fifty plus years when that person is not immediate family, but that is the case for me. I met the Gastons in the late 1960’s in Venezuela and our friendship has maintained ever since. It endured the “dramatic” separation in 6th grade as the Gastons transferred out of Venezuela, but “we” were reunited again in1978 when John and I elected to attend high school at St. Stephen’s School in Austin, Texas. Although Shirley and Ernie were still living abroad I was able to travel to see them with John during spring break and other vacations. I spent countless days with the Gastons at their house in Lake Livingston and was able to visit them while they lived in Madrid, Spain. Throughout all these years Shirley was like a second mother to me. Inviting me to spend time with them no matter where they were and making sure the visits would take place no matter the distance. So many firsts in my life occurred during visits with the Gastons; the first time I learned to water ski, the first time I learned to snow ski, the first time I traveled to Houston, and the list goes on and on. I am so blessed to have known Shirley for so many years and will always be so grateful to her for helping John and I maintain our friendship for so many years. I love you Shirley and I will miss you so much. Johnny.

Abby Rodgers Pickens

July 27, 2020

Shirley welcomed me to Houston in the early 1990s when I arrived by myself to attend Rice and knew no one in town. I loved spending time with the Gastons at their 2 lake houses. Her hospitality and humor was unmatched. Her boys, Ernie and John, were spoiled by her love and attention! She will be missed.

David Castle

July 26, 2020

Shirley was my aunt and often like a second mother to me. I spent much of my time with Shirley, Ernie and John growing up as a kid and the all meant the world to me. I loved Shirley and I will miss her dearly.

David Castle

Cindy Venable

July 26, 2020

We loved having Shirley and Ernie as neighbors. She was always up for visiting and usually had plenty to say. Mike and I will sorely miss her!! We are thankful she is at peace now, and we offer our sincere condolences to the family!!

Aleta Smith Woods

July 25, 2020

Even though Aunt Shirley is not my aunt we called her aunt. Her brother, Glen, was married to my Aunt Wynona. In our family, anyone who was related to someone in the family was considered part of our family. I remember Uncle Ernie and Aunt Shirley visiting my grandparents when they came to Houston on visits and their stories about living in other countries. I also remember when John came into the family and there was so much excitement then.
We are praying for peace and comfort during these days. Hang on to the memories.
Aleta Smith Woods


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