Shirley Jean Thompson Carter Mims, age 83, born in Tyler, Texas, passed away peacefully early Monday morning, February 7, 2022, in her daughter’s home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was a graduate of Emmett Scott High School in Tyler, Texas, and attended Laney College in Oakland, California.
She began her government service career working with the U. S. Postal Service, and she ended her work career retiring as Transportation Supervisor with the Naval Material Transportation Office (NAVMTO) at the Norfolk Naval Base. She was an active member of Toastmasters International, participating and competing in many speaking engagements in various cities in the United States.
Shirley was raised in the Episcopal faith, but later in life joined the Second Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, in Oakland, California. When her family relocated to Virginia Beach, she found a new church home in New Hope Baptist Church, where she was a member of the senior choir. In earlier years she taught Sunday School classes and helped with Vacation Bible School.
She loved and thoroughly enjoyed participating in activities involving young people. Children made her laugh, and she had a great sense of humor. Shirley was a kind-hearted, generous, and compassionate person who loved her family and made many sacrifices for them. In her younger years, she participated in recreational bowling leagues overseas and in the states. She loved reading, sewing, making ceramic pottery, and cooking. Her infamous cornbread dressing and her spaghetti salad were often requested by family, friends, and church members.
Shirley is survived by her two children, Gloria Scott of Virginia Beach, and Jeffrey (Tamisha) Mims of Virginia Beach; five grandchildren, Adrienne Cowell-Thoroughgood, Joy (Chad) Lennon, Terrell Mims, Jayden Mims, and Quanesha Caple; three great-grandchildren, Ashleigh Thoroughgood, Ashton Thoroughgood, and Harriet Lennon. She leaves behind "bonus" children, Shelley Scott-Anderson, Oscar (Candace) Scott, III, DuBois (Kimberly) Scott, and Jaclyn Scott; several "bonus" grandchildren and “bonus” great-grandchildren; her decades-long friends who always stepped in to help when called upon, Jan Burton, Edna Barrow Fordham, and Deborah Johns Morris; and her former son-in-law and ever-faithful chauffeur, Oscar Scott, Jr. Shirley is also survived by a host of other relatives and friends in Virginia, Texas, and California.
She is predeceased by her biological parents, Ruby Thompson and Sam Carter, the parents who raised her from when she was a few months old until she started school, Susie Harper and Lee Harper (affectionately called Mama Susie and Daddy Lee); two brothers, Leonard Thompson of Tyler, TX, and James Thompson of Los Angeles, CA; a niece, April Thompson of Los Angeles, CA; and, two former husbands, Joe Mims of Norfolk VA, and James Booker of Tyler, TX.
The family will have a virtual memorial celebration of Shirley’s life on a future date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Shirley’s memory to either St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or World Vision, two charities very dear to her heart.
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