Cleveland, Ohio native, Shirley Tyner, was a Renaissance Woman in a time when Renaissance Women were few and far between.  As a triple threat, Ohio State University undergraduate, she majored in Biology, minored in Art, and ultimately acquired an MSc in Zoology.  As a wife and mother she traveled the world with her husband of 60 years – Air Force Captain David Tyner – to Casablanca, Morocco and many stateside duty stations while she raised her two children.  As a skeet shooter she earned an award for her skill at shooting clays with the .410 bore shotgun. 

In 1963 Shirley began a two prong, 16-year career with Richmond County and Rockingham City High Schools in dual roles as a Biology and Art Teacher.  A month-long retrospective of her paintings was on display in Rockingham Library in November, 1999.  In retirement, her house was filled with routine meetings of Antique Collectors and various Holiday Gatherings. 

She was preceded in death by her husband David and parents Anna and Dewey Harvey.  She is survived by her children, Margaret Ann and John, her grandson, Jesse and wife Cathy, her great-grandchildren, Willow and Briar, her long-time housekeeper Louvin, and dedicated caregivers, Margaret and Michelle.

A graveside service will be held October 16, 2021 at 1 pm, at the David Tyner family cemetery on Silver Run Farm, Hoffman, NC.  In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Sally Cole Scholarship Fund/ Foundation for the Carolinas, 220 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.

The Powell Funeral Home is honored to serve the Tyner family.

Online condolences may be made at

Memories Timeline


  1. Shirley Tyner was the calm, quiet, peaceful eye at the center of the storm.
    She was a member of the generation that came of age during the American Great Depression and as such was instinctively frugal, unflappable and stoic in a way incomprehensible to many in the generations that followed.
    As a young adult caught in the chaos of World War II she diligently pursued and acquired a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Art and ultimately concluded her studies with a Master of Science Degree in Zoology.
    When her husband David spent a week in the hospital I was chosen to escort her to the hospital every evening at the end of some very long work days to visit him. As an 80 something woman she insisted we walk the length of a dark and forbidding auto park deck rather than apply for one of the empty blue tag spaces next to the entrance. “Those spaces are reserved for the use of people who need them’” she explained. Nor would she allow me to drop her at the entrance and park the car separately. She stuck to her resolve for the next 7 evenings no matter where we were forced to park.
    She and Louvin worked together to coat the kitchen floor with so many layers of acrylic floor coating it was perpetually clean and nearly maintenance free for the next 20 years. Remember that old standard you read about in 19th Century novels? A floor clean enough to eat off? That was Shirley Tyner.
    During the holidays her home was a sanctuary for those caught traveling between pillar and post. One memorable Christmas a young Father with his very young son were stranded in the area without a place to spend Christmas day so Shirley made sure they joined her with everyone at the house as though they were long lost relatives. A good time was had by all. And that was Shirley in a nutshell.
    When she and Margaret Ann took off to attend a concert in the big City of Raleigh, Shirley cooked up enough chili to make sure David and I did not suffer any hunger pangs. And we didn’t. She made a mean chili and an even better Sunday Roast Chicken. Old fashioned home cooking at least as memorable and maybe even better than many of the finest restaurant offerings.
    So even if tall timber shook from blowing winds or standing grass bent beneath the beating rain or flood waters filled the flat open field where she stood Shirley surveyed the turmoil around her with a serene peace that was at the very core of her nature.
    Thank you Shirley Tyner for a front row seat from where I could witness a well ordered well lived life. We will truly not soon see your like again.

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