Shirley Lee Winter Whiteside

Shirley Whiteside

Shirley Winter Whiteside

Corpus Christi, TX

Shirley Lee Winter Whiteside, born December 3, 1931, in San Angelo, Texas, passed away peacefully in her home after a long battle with breast cancer.  She was preceded in death by her parents Niles Baker Winter Sr. and Glenna (Allen) Winter and two months earlier by her beloved husband of sixty-two years, Wilfred Drennen (Bill) Whiteside Jr.  She is survived by children Tom Whiteside (Judy), Lee Ann Kreig (Ray) and Will Whiteside (Shannon) and brother Niles Winter (Margot).

Shirley attended the University of Texas at Austin graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority.  But the real accomplishment at UT was meeting the love of her life, Bill, whom she first met dissecting a fetal pig in biology lab.  They were married June 21, 1951 and moved to Houston for Bill to attend dental school.  After Bill graduated from dental school and four years in the army at Fort Hood, the family moved to Corpus Christi in 1958.

Shirley and Bill were very active members of the First United Methodist Church from their arrival in Corpus onwards and cherished the church and their many friends there.

Shirley got involved in all things related to her children including becoming a Cub Scout den mother and a Girl Scout leader and was a lifetime member of the Parent Teacher Association.  She was a board member for the Robert L Moore Community Center and made dyeing Easter eggs for the children a family tradition as well as organizing children’s activities and other services.    Shirley was a charter member of the Key Study Club.  She was also an importantmember of Bill’s dental office team helping with accounting and other administrative functions. She was president of the Auxiliary to the Nueces Valley District Dental Society and served on the board and various offices and committees for the Auxiliary to the Texas Dental Association.

Shirley was a Master Gardener and was quoted in a Caller Times article saying: “Truly, I think you are closer to God in a garden than anywhere else.  Nature is what supports us, and there is a new gift every day.  A new flower, a rainbow,  a lizard, a frog, whatever.”  She loved going to schools and teaching children about plants, flowers and insects.  Her home garden is a beautiful wonder enjoyed by monarch butterflies, lizards, hummingbirds and too many cats.

She served as chair of the projects committee of the Beautify Corpus Christi Association and this led to the creation of the Xeriscape Coalition board on which she also served.   They worked across a number of organizations to create the Xeriscape Garden at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History.  She received the Jefferson Volunteer Award for this effort.

She and Bill were volunteers at the dental clinic in Progresso, Mexico, helping to bring dental and other care to the poor.  Shirley crossed the language barrier by bringing crafts to the children. She was also a member of First Friday, an organization of support for women with breast cancer.

Shirley combined sweetness, persuasion, tenacity and meticulous attention to detail to accomplish whatever she set out to do.  We all learned early that a comment like “wouldn’t you like to do xyz?” was not really a question and that resistance was futile. 

She loved people but most especially her true love, Bill.  Bill had numerous serious health issues as did she and both lived to take care of the other.  She was not afraid of dying and looked forward to seeing Bill and Jesus, in that order.

The family wishes to thank all the doctors and nurses that provided her with such loving care, and her church family and friends who have lifted her spirits and provided nourishment to body and soul throughout her illness.

A service in celebration of Shirley’s life will be held Friday August 1, 2014, at 11:00 AM at First United Methodist Church, 900 S. Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Corpus Christi First United Methodist Church (900 S. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78401) or the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center (8545 South Staples, Corpus Christi, TX 78413).