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1937 John Shirley 2023

John Shirley

March 9, 1937 — June 10, 2023


John T. Shirley III, 86, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, passed away on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at Cherokee County Nursing Center following a long illness. He was born on March 9, 1937, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to John and Louise Shirley.


He graduated from Lamar High School, Lamar, Missouri, in 1955, and later joined the Army and served in Germany. In 1958, he married Marian Fast from Lamar, who joined him there. After he was honorably discharged, he attended Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and earned a Master's Degree in Chemistry. After graduation, he accepted a position in Pryor, Oklahoma, at Nipak as a chemist in the fertilizer industry. They spent the next fourteen years in Pryor raising their three girls and making lifelong friends.


When the plant in Pryor closed, he transferred to Krum, Texas, where he worked on explosives used for oil exploration. He left that job to work in a lab at Lockheed Martin Aerospace as a legitimate "rocket scientist." He stayed with Lockheed until his retirement in 2001.


John was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, a brother, a nephew, and his in-laws, Howard and Phyllis Fast. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Marian; daughters, Christine Jackson, Sara Jones, and Elizabeth Shirley; five grandchildren, Emily and husband Jarrod Kinnaird, Greg and wife Jessica Jackson, Preston and wife Crysta Jones, Katie Jackson, and Taylor Jones; four great-grandchildren, Jet Jackson, Josiah Jackson, Chloe Kinnaird, and Barrett Jones due in July; as well as many nieces and nephews he loved to spend time with.


John was a member of First Christian Church in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. His memorial service will be held at the Church on Saturday, July 1, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the First Christian Church.

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Saturday, July 1, 2023

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