Shirley Venada Veasey was born on February 9, 1935, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She was the
fourth of eight children born to Sherman Timothy Terry and Ola McKay Terry. She was raised in
the small, rural town of her birth until migrating with the family to Detroit, Michigan at age nine.
The family planted its roots in Detroit, where Shirley attended Sampson Elementary School,
McMichael Middle School, and Northwest High Schools, graduating in 1953. Following
graduation, she worked for the United States Army at Ordinance Tank Automotive Command
(OTAC), until her marriage.
Shirley accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age, joining Tabernacle
Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit on January 1, 1945, where she continued as a faithful
member throughout her life. She was very active in the Church, baptized in the blood, attending
services regularly, participating in the Baptist Youth Training Union and Sunday School, and
serving as a member of Group 18 until she departed this earth. She raised her three children in
Christ in the Tabernacle family, from nursery school into adulthood. Shirley was a devoted child
of God and remained a member of Tabernacle for more than seventy-eight years.
Shirley met a young man, Ollie Veasey, who was also from Kosciusko, and in 1957 they were
united in marriage. Of this union, three children, Glenda, Dianne and Ollie (“Monte”) were born.
Shirley was also blessed with the support and affection of Ollie’s four older children, Jean,
Joyce, Mae Ollie, and Henry (“Buster”), who greatly enhanced her life with more grandchildren,
great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren to love. Ollie and Shirley purchased a home
on Ninth Street in Ecorse, Michigan in 1958, where they raised their three children and enjoyed
their extended family, which remains the family residence until today. They became fixtures in
the Ecorse community, establishing and operating the family business, Rocket Cab Company.
Shirley was the neighborhood Mom, friend, counselor and supporter to all who came to know
her, while presiding as the “domestic engineer” of the Veasey family and home. She was the
consummate homemaker, wife and mother, always on top of things, and adding excitement for
her children with her frequent Saturday morning mystery trips. She would pack a lunch, get
Glenda, Dianne and Monte dressed, and off they would go to unknown special places for family
fun and games.
Her home was a hub of neighborhood activity as Glenda, Dianne and Monte grew up, often full
of local kids, enjoying fun and a plentiful supply of Kool Aid, bologna sandwiches and treats.
Shirley was fully involved in and around Ecorse, often serving as the field trip chaperone, Girl
Scout leader, car-pool driver, and enthusiastic supporter of neighborhood kids, schools and
community activities. She could always be counted on for her love and support, and gained the
undying friendship and admiration of many, including her childrens’ friends and classmates.
Beyond being a devoted homemaker, mother and wife, Shirley enjoyed many other interests.
She and Ollie became avid boaters along with their children. They earned pilots licenses and
spent countless hours on the Detroit River and Lake Erie with family and friends on their cabin
cruiser, “Miss For Real”, which Ollie named in honor of Shirley. The family traveled extensively,
often taking long summer road trips, exploring and enjoying the sights throughout the country,
with Shirley as head navigator, finding new and different experiences with her AAA Triptiks. In
her later years, Shirley continued her traveling spirit. She became a “snowbird”, spending many
of the winter months enjoying the California weather, with Glenda, Monte and their families.
Shirley was an avid sports enthusiast. She was a tennis player in high school, and loved
watching tennis matches over the years, especially if they involved Venus and Serena. She
was even more of a basketball fan, and a die hard Detroit Pistons supporter and season ticket
holder. Whenever the Pistons played, Shirley was there, watching and cheering with great
enthusiasm. Her love of sports magnified in recent years, as she became the number one