Shirley W. Fairless
The Virginian Pilot,
HARRELLSVILLE - Shirley
Wilkins Fairless, 81, of the 1500 block of Swains Mill Road, died Dec.
24, 2008, in his home.
Mr. Fairless was born in Hertford County, a son of the late Joseph Graham
and Mary Ellie Fairless Fairless.
He was a longtime member of Christian Harbor Baptist Church, serving as
deacon, former choir member, and church secretary for more than 30 years.
Shirley was a 1945 graduate of Harrellsville High School. After graduation,
Shirley signed a one-year contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball
team. After returning home, he played baseball for the semi-pro Albemarle
League with the Colerain Trappers team and later, for a short time, with
the Elizabeth City team until the league folded in 1950.
Besides baseball, Shirley had a passion for farming and prided himself
in his accomplishments in the field. After retiring from farming in 1994,
he started working part time as a funeral attendant at Garrett Funeral
Home, another opportunity to serve others, until his health declined and
forced him to retire.
He leaves behind his loving wife of more than 60 years, Forrise Newbern
"Blue" Fairless; his daughters, Dianne F. Smith of Asheville,
N.C., Mary Ellen F. Cullipher of Colerain; his sons, Larry W. Fairless
of Harrellsville, J. Wayne Fairless of Ahoskie and James M. "Jimmy"
Fairless of Harrellsville; a sister, Florence F. Pearce of Harrellsville;
10 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, a brother
and two grandchildren.
A celebration of life service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday in
Garrett Funeral Home, with the Rev. Hugh Mizelle officiating. Burial will
follow in Highland Memorial Gardens.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 7 until 8:30
p.m. today and other times at the home.
Flowers are welcome or memorial donations may be made to University Health
Systems Hospice Care, P.O. Box 272, Ahoskie, NC 27910 or to a charity
Friends and family may send online condolences to Shirley's family at