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SOUTH PORTLAND — Ray A. Shirrell, 87, of South Portland, died Sept. 21 at Maine Medical Center.
He was born in Loudon, Tenn., on Sept. 1, 1926, son of Walter F. and Ora J. Lambert Shirrell. He was educated at a Catholic boarding school in South Carolina.
Shirrell joined the U.S. Navy and served in the South Pacific during World War II aboard the USS Foss.
He married Edith Marie Jordan on Sept. 18, 1948, in Key West, Fla. Shirrell’s service to his country continued as he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served overseas during the Korean War.
Following his military service, the family settled in South Portland. For 20 years he was employed by the state as a food service manager at the Boys Training Center, now known as the Long Creek Youth Development Center, in South Portland.
Shirrell was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. He was a former communicant of St. John the Evangelist Church and a former member of the Knights of Columbus.
Following his retirement, he and his wife spent the winters in Winter Haven, Fla., where he enjoyed watching Red Sox spring training. Shirrell and his wife celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Sept. 18. He will be remembered as a strong family man.
Shirrell was predeceased by a daughter, Andrea J. Shirrell, in 1949; two grandsons, Jeffrey and Joseph Gadbois; sister Rella Carter and brother Raymond Shirrell.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Edith Marie Shirrell, of South Portland; a son, Frederick R. Shirrell and wife Beverley, of Portland; three daughters, Lorene M. Yates and husband Stephen, of Augusta, Diane E. Gadbois and husband George, of South Portland, and Pamela J. Nappi and husband Peter, of South Portland; 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Visitation and a funeral were held at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. The Rev. Dwayne Hopkins officiated. Burial followed at New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.
Those wishing to make donations may do so to the American Diabetes Association, 45 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04101; to the American Heart Association, 6 East Merrill Road, Lewiston, ME 04240, or to the American Cancer Society, 1 Bowdoin Mills Island, Topsham, ME 04086.