Shirley was born on October 20, 1931 at the start of the Great Depression.
Born in Harlingen, Texas, near the Rio Grande on an Orange Tree Farm owned by her parents, she moved in 1933 to Minneapolis when the Category 5 Cuba – Brownsville hurricane came ashore and devastated their farm, reducing the trees and home to knee-deep mud. An only child, she was raised by her maternal grandmother as her father worked as a travelling salesman during the depression and her mother often was gone for long periods of time.
She attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky where she majored in biology. Her plan was to become a teaching missionary. Those plans changed when Shirley met Doyle Elvyn Pavy (Jack) who was also a student at Asbury College in the same class year, 1953. Dating was prohibited in those days at Asbury, but Shirley was elected Vice-President of the class and Jack was elected President. They called many class officer meetings in their senior year so they could see each other outside of the classroom.
They married in August 1953 and Shirley moved with Jack to Macy, Indiana where he was the pastor of two small rural churches. Jack was from a farm family of eleven children and was studying to become a Methodist minister at Garrett Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, Illinois and was gone during the week. Back home on weekends, his time was filled with pastoral duties and meetings. Mom taught biology in the local high school.
Life together with Jack would mean new towns and new churches: Macy, South Whitley, North Manchester, Angola, Griffith, West Lafayette and Elkhart – all in Northern Indiana. In each place Shirley met the challenge of turning each house into a home for the family. Phillip, their first child, died in infancy. But then there was Cheryl, Stephen, Kathryn and John and a foster daughter, Nora.
Shirley resumed her teaching career once John was old enough to go to school all day. She completed her master’s degree in Elementary Education at St. Francis College in Fort Wayne while living in Angola. To her family, she was a model of a working and caring mother, teaching her children to be independent (as well as teaching them to clean, cook and do laundry) yet there for them every day. Of course, being a pastor’s wife, she, too had another job that was 24 x 7 x 365. Her life and Jack’s life were lives of service to the community, to the church and to family.
Shirley and Jack led full and active lives together, leading the churches where they served to vibrant ministries. They travelled extensively including numerous trips to Israel and to Oberammergau where they led groups from numerous churches across Northern Indiana.
They retired in 1996 to a cottage on Lake Webster and a condominium in Naples, Florida. Jack became ill in 2008 and he and Shirley moved in first with daughter Cheryl and then when Jack’s illness worsened, with daughter Kathie. Jack passed away in February 2010.
Shirley continued to live in Naples, Florida and Bloomington, Indiana with Kathie and her family during the summer months. She continued to travel: Monte Carlo, Italy, Greece and Croatia; Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and China; Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands; Australia and New Zealand. The highlight of recent trips was in September 2018 when Shirley, Cheryl, Stephen and Kathie went around England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland on a cruise. It was her last big trip.
Kathie and her family moved to Ft. Myers, Florida in 2016. Mom sold her condo in Naples and moved in with them. Her health began to decline in late summer 2019 and she began hospice care in March 2020. She died peacefully on the morning of August 5, 2020. We are grateful for all those who helped to care for her in these last months.
She is survived by Cheryl Lee Pavy McLean, Stephen Hull Pavy, Kathryn (Kathie) Pavy Hart, John Wilbur Pavy; grandchildren Aimee, Alyssa, Cassidhe, Nolan, Lin, Delaney, Grace and Jackson; great-grandchildren Declan, Annalise, Isaiah, Raelynn, Ryleigh and Rowan.
Grace Place for Children and Families
PO Box 990531
Naples, FL 34116
Riverview Adult Day and Health Center
2715 E Jackson Blvd.
Elkhart IN 46516
Riverview is associated with Trinity United Methodist Church (Trinity on Jackson). If you wish to donate to Trinity, please do.
Trinity on Jackson
2715 E Jackson Blvd.
Elkhart IN 46516
The Doyle “Jack” Pavy and Shirley Hull Pavy Memorial Endowed Scholarship
One Macklem Drive
Wilmore, KY 40390