Shirley Smith (Segars)
PLEASE NOTE: Viewing will be from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, Thursday, March 29, 2018, at the Crosier-Pearson Cleburne Funeral Home. Visitation will be following the 11:00 am memorial service on Friday, March 30, 2018.
Shirley Segars Smith was born in the early 1930's to parents Jewel Roberts and Wilburn T. Segars in Oklahoma City. She was the fifth of seven children.
Family was the keystone in her life and central to her sense of self. For decades, most of the family shared holidays in OKC. She organized the first triennial Segars family reunion and annual newsletter. In the late 1980s, Shirley brought her mother home, to Smith Ranch in Rio Vista, caring for her until death in 1990. An ever-attentive sister and aunt, Shirley sought to provide extra familial support when and where it was needed.
She graduated from Classen High School in Oklahoma City, Shirley continued studies at SMU in Dallas. She met many who would become lifelong friends, including Ruth Ann Benton Hill, and her peers in Pi Beta Phi sorority. The trajectory of her life, however, was set when she met a “very nice young man from a ranch in Texas” named Lowell (Stretch) Smith. Friends arranged a blind date for a formal party between the two; but it was a coffee date before, where they spent hours sharing their personal goals and values. Shirley and Stretch married soon after SMU days.
Shirley enjoyed the variety of place and friends during early married years. Stretch was working for the Texas Department of Banking as an Assistant Bank Examiner when they married. It wasn't long before Stretch was called to active duty in the military as he had a reserved commission. This was at the end of the Korean War era. During these three years, she had a great experience living in different parts of the country. After Stretch's discharge from the military, he went back to the Texas Banking department and he was assigned to Amarillo. They made a lot of longtime friends while in the Texas panhandle. There next move was back to Cleburne and Rio Vista and Stretch went into the First State Bank Rio Vista (Cowpasture Bank). This was in the late 1950's. It was in Cleburne that they raised their daughters, Pamela Smith Smith (Dallas, Rio Vista) and Sue Ann Smith (Weatherford).
She was committed to the Cleburne community where they lived and they were active members of First United Methodist Church, Kings Daughters (Watch and Work Circle), Meals on Wheels, Panhellenic, Heritage Assembly, and Investment Club. She was also a member of The Old Three Hundred Settlement in Texas. This history was special to her because her grandfather had been a cowboy on one of the cattle trails. She believed it was the Chisholm Trail. It was interesting because this trail went to the west of Smith Ranch in Rio Vista.
Over the years Shirley quietly sponsored and mentored children and young adults from within her home community. Her last formal mentoring was done at Smith Middle School when she was in her early 70's.
Shirley maintained she was really a “city girl” but took her turn as matriarch of Smith Family Ranch in the late 1970s. She was the fourth generation on Smith Ranch. During these years she pursued her interest in genealogy; and with her predilection for detail and organization, she did it well. Years were spent documenting her husband’s ancestral roots in Sweden and the original Swedish Colony in Delaware.
When she turned attention to her own roots, she learned ancestors traversed Texas via the Chisholm Trail en route to Oklahoma Territory, and may have passed through the family ranch. But, it was the discovery her ancestors were part of The Old Three Hundred, who with leader Stephen F. Austin, established their first colony in Texas that meant so much to her.
Throughout Shirley’s life, family continued to be what concerned her most. As a grandmother to Wesley and Amanda, she was actively interested in their lives, interests, and friends.
The last years ushered Shirley into the darkness that is Alzheimer’s. Gratefully, the essence of her gracious and proper demeanor remained. Kind bright eyes and a sweet smile rarely left her. Stretch was a constant in her life. Every evening he sat beside her as they held hands.
In addition to her husband and daughters, Shirley Segars Smith is survived by: son-in-law Hoke Smith; grandson Wesley Smith, wife Maya Bourdeau, their children Arya and Isa; granddaughter Amanda Smith Cronin, husband Dr. Sean Cronin, their children Nolan and Hannah; sister Jeri Lou and husband Robert Scott (San Antonio); sister-in-law Barbara Smith Denton (Fort Worth); and eighteen nieces and nephews.
Service and Visitation information.
Viewing: 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Thursday, March 29, 2018 at Crosier Pearson Cleburne Funeral Home, 512 N. Ridgeway Dr. Cleburne.
Private Graveside service will be conducted Friday, March 30, 2018 at Grange Hall Cemetary west of Rio Vista.
Memorial Service will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 30, 2018 at the First United Methodist Church 1300 Westhill Dr. Cleburne.
Visitation and lunch will be at the Church following the memorial service.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church (P.O. Box 114 Cleburne, Texas 76033), Mustang Foundation (PO Box 78, Cleburne, TX 76033), or the local charity of choice.