Dr. Ollye Shirley remembered as "remarkable woman" - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Dr. Ollye Shirley remembered as "remarkable woman"

Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Dr. Ollye Brown Shirley died on Saturday evening.

Her husband, the late Dr. Aaron Shirley, was a groundbreaking Mississippi civil rights activist, but Mrs. Shirley was a tireless activist in her own right.            

"As long as we're divided, we're not going to succeed," Dr. Ollye Shirley in an interview several years ago.

If would be safe to say Dr. Ollye Shirley practiced what she preached. In addition to civil rights, her passion was education; serving on the Jackson Public Schools board of directors; also championing the educational needs of underprivileged children.

She served as chair of the Mississippi NAACP Education Committee. In 1968 she was recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of Mississippi's Top 50 Businesswomen. And the list goes on.

Dr. Ollye Shirley was also a graduate of Tougaloo College and good friend of that institution's president, Beverly Wade Hogan.

"You're talking about a remarkable woman," said Hogan. "I call her a renaissance woman, because she was not only a professional woman, a community leader, but she was a wife and a mother and grandmother and friend and she combined all of those roles with compassion for those things that she loved and she's just extraordinary in so many ways. (She) Did so much to impact change in this community."

"Ollye Brown Shirley was anything but afraid," said Dr. Wilma Mosley Clopton, who documented Shirley's life in a film. "Her strength was not measured by the noise of the moment, but by the sound of her voice during the silence when others had forgotten."

"We're going to miss her presence, but she leaves a void in the community, but I think that she has instilled a lot of her values and her beliefs and inspired others who worked with her to take action and I'm looking forward to that next voice that Ollye has influenced," added Hogan.

On his Facebook page, her son, Terrence Shirley, posted a picture of both of his late parents, with the simple caption stating "Back together again."

Dr. Ollye Brown Shirley was 82 years old.

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