Shirley Ward Hansen, 81, peacefully went to be with the Lord on June 18, 2012 in Snellville, Georgia after a lengthy illness. Her wonderful legacy began June 15, 1931, when she became the first child of a Baptist Minister Henry Ward and Helen Symonds Ward, a gifted concert pianist.
Shirley's mother passed away when she was only a toddler, but her musical legacy continued. Shirley began playing piano by ear at age 2 in Huntsville, Texas, and performed as a "child prodigy" at tent revivals and churches across the south. She was a cheerleader and Homecoming Queen at Huntsville High School, and received a full scholarship to Baylor, where she continued her study of music.
She married in 1951, and had three children. She also discovered golf. Shortly after the family moved to Midland, Texas, Shirley entered the Midland Country Club Championship, and won! She went on to win 18 tournaments, and placed in countless others, including the Women's West Texas.
Shirley is best known for her music. If you attended Summer Mummers in the 70's or early 80's, you heard Shirley play the piano during performances and the black and white movie. Shirley also left an indelible mark on the Midland Community Theatre, serving as Music Director, Orchestra member, or actress in too many productions to count! She collaborated with Art Cole on a number of projects, and penned the music scores for several plays by noted playwright Ed Graczyck.
Shirley also performed in several bands in Midland and Lubbock, and entertained movie stars, celebrities, and Presidents.
Despite her many talents, Shirley felt her best work was her family. She was the heart and soul of a large family throughout her life. She was particularly close to her daughter Beth, and grandson Daniel Green.
Shirley leaves behind her three children, Lynda Gunby and son-in-law Jeff Wresche of Marietta, Georgia, Judge Jim Hansen and wife Dixie of Lubbock, Texas, and Beth Green of Snellville Georgia. She also leaves behind 6 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren..
The family would like to thank Ann and Melvin Edwards of Tender Care Home, and Atlanta Hospice for their kindness and love during the difficult final months, and to God for welcoming Shirley to Heaven. Memorials can be made to Tender Care Home at 3922 Centerville Highway, Snellville, Georgia 30039.