Condolence & Memory Journal

I was so lucky to have Shirley in my life and close to my heart. I skated with Jhey & Claire and had Claire for my roommate while in college. Shirley knew I had no family and immediately welcomed me and made me feel such a part of their home and advised me along my path in life. I was always working several jobs and she put me to work with her rose business (wrapping and delivering those roses to the 7-11 stores was NUTS) she knew I needed that work though and always took great care of me. Even when miles separated us, she was quick to stay in touch through social media. She never missed an opportunity to comment or like a post I would make about my life or my children it was like she was always with me. I am grateful to carry her beautiful smile in my memories and her wonderful laugh ringing in heart. Her never failing faith is what I will always strive to match. I'm happy to have her continuing to watch over me now while seated at the right hand of the Lord. Love to you Castles family!

Posted by Tania Yarema - Romeo, MI - Family Friend   September 01, 2020

So many good memories of our times together back in Missouri. Charles and Shirley pulled us through a lot of tough times, and we will always be grateful. May her memory be a blessing.

Posted by Richard Francis - Carroll, IA - friend   August 28, 2020

Candle

Condolences on your loss.

Posted by Paul Barnum - South Elgin, IL   August 27, 2020

I heard about Shirley before I actually met her. I heard how wonderful, friendly, and talented she was. After I met her, I discovered for myself what people were talking about. I was privileged to work with Shirley for several years doing Outreach through Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. Oh, the memories!! Shirley’s main responsibility was coordinating the Parkinson’s support group. Using her talents and gifts, she grew the support group into a comprehensive resource that benefited the community in so many ways. Shirley was kind, compassionate, and eager to help others. We made a good team and I grew to love and appreciate her as a dear, dear friend. When the OKC bombing happened, she and I baked 90 dozen chocolate chip cookies and took them downtown to the young firefighters, policeman, and other workers. I remember her insisting we take her new mini van on a family vacation. She bought my kids the best presents, they loved her. She told me about at a Parkinson’s support group meeting, they were learning to give each other neck massages and each had a partner. She chose the man she knew no one else would because of a skin condition. She kept telling herself that this is what Jesus would do and was able to get through the exercise. I have been so sad about her death, my heart has a big hole, but I know she is busy organizing something in heaven that will benefit others. That is my dear friend Shirley who I love.

Posted by Gaylene Stiles - Bethany, OK - friend   August 27, 2020

Candle

Dear Shirley, thank you for having enriched my life. Thank you for helping God bring Pam and me together by moving with Charlie to Oklahoma. Later, convincing Pam to pack up her belongings and migrate closer to you in Edmond. Thanks for putting your heart and soul into giving us such a beautiful wedding and making us feel special. I will always cherish your smile, laugh, enthusiasm,caring and love. You welcomed me, Michael and Lizzie, as part of your family, almost as soon as Pam and I started dating. We had many fun times playing games, singing,hiking amongst the redwoods in California, waking up at the crack of dawn to snatch a prime spot for the Rose Bowl Parade and exploring Hawaii. You and Charlie were the first to welcome Melea and Makana when they first arrived in the U.S., becoming the best Aunt and Uncle anyone could wish for. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Dear Shirley, I will miss you and hope to see you again in heaven.

Posted by Ron Kingsley - Oklahoma City, OK - family   August 25, 2020

Candle

First Shirley was my only sibling , my big sister . She also was my friend, mentor at times , play pal when we were kids , partner in doing crazy things together and cheering me on through life’s many stages . She was always willing to lend a hand , to jump in to make events in my life as well as others as fun as possible. Ron and my wedding was especially memorable because she and her whole family and friends made the food and decorations. It took hours of planning and budgeting but it was a labor of love from her to us . This meant more to us because it was done from the heart . She embraced my new ready made family with open arms , they were immediately part of our crazy tribe and silly activities . Christmas became a new tradition that my new children looked eagerly towards . As kids growing up in Chattanooga we spent endless summer days playing outside and playing “make believe “ . Our imaginations were endless and brought us much joy . My sister was there for everyone . Her soul was hard wired to find someone to help and make their life a little better . I believe she accomplished that mission on earth with many rich memories that we can cherish . First and foremost she love God and her family and was a fierce warrior for them . Always she will be my sister for who I will always be eternally grateful to have spent time together and look forward to seeing again in our new heavenly home someday , Love you sister , mean it ! Pam Kingsley

Posted by Pam Kingsley - Oklahoma City, OK - sister   August 24, 2020

We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Shirley. She was always a bright light in any group. Our prayers are with your family.

Posted by Jim and Cindi Rogers - Porterville, CA - friend   August 23, 2020

My memories of Shirley are too many to record here. But for the last six years flying to California for Thanksgiving has been the highlight of my year visiting Charles, Shirley and my beautiful nieces Claire and Jhey. Shirley had a love for life and for the Lord. Rest in the Lord.

Posted by John Castles - Dallas, TX - Family   August 23, 2020

We were in Union Star, Mo. when Charles and Shirley first began their ministry in 1976. It was a formative time for our young family and Shirley was more influential in that formation than she knew. I think her greatest gift to us was introducing us to the writing of C. S. Lewis. Shirley saw things in us that we didn't see in ourselves and went about in her unique way to show us and teach us what the Christian life was really about - Love, Service and Fun. Our lives are much better because of Shirley's presence, teaching and example.

Posted by Linda and Randal Bollinger - College Place, WA - friend   August 22, 2020

The first time I met Shirley was at a Jhey and the Whee show. She was dancing and singing along and having the time of her life. It’s still hard for me to imagine her in any way other than with a beaming smile. I can still hear that laugh of hers.

Not long after Jhey and I first started dating, Jhey and the Whee played at a music festival at Mt. Baldy. Charles and Shirley were both there for the whole event, which took up several nights. As it ended, Jhey and I stood with them as they waited their turn to load onto the ski lift heading down the mountain. She gave me a big hug and said she loved me. It may not sound like much to some, but it was a big deal to me. For Shirley to open up that way, and make me feel welcome to their family – well, it’s hard to express how much that meant to me. I tear up just thinking about it. That’s the way I saw her though. She was always welcoming, loving, and supportive of those around her.

I had big hopes that Shirley and my mom would become close friends. On the night Jhey and I got married, we had a big reception with a live DJ and dancing. My mom has never danced much, or at all, but she danced that night. And I can’t count how many times I looked over and Shirley and my mom were hanging out with huge smiles on their faces, dancing and laughing. I was so excited to see their friendship blossoming. I imagined them growing closer and closer over the years. But now, far too soon, Shirley has been torn away from us.

The world is less without her.

We miss you Shirley.

Posted by Jason Sallee - Los Angeles, CA - family   August 21, 2020

Shirley was a grand neighbor, a great 'fitness' enthusiast and teacher, an open and caring woman who knew what she was about! I was only a neighbor, but Shirley's light shone in and through my short journey at Monte Vista Grove Homes. She was a sure sister in Christ to this pilgrim neighbor for a year. Grace and peace of Christ, Jane Holslag

Posted by Jane Holslag - Berlin GERMANY - Neighbor   August 20, 2020

An incredible loss.. She was a consistent light in our community at MVGH, smiling, full of joy and laughter, caring so much for others. She went out of her way to help those who needed assist. She was an encourager, an organizer, a teacher, constantly aware of each person in her classes and what would be the best way for them to exercise committed to the development of the Wellness Center on our campus, and most recently pulling it all together in a short time so we could begin using it again until we had to stop with the second closing. As I worked with her on the Wellness Committee and teaching classes I was always impressed with her energy and her willingness to go above and beyond. She was helpful to people in so many ways We are stunned, the loss is great, the solace is that she is with our Lord. Prayers, heart thoughts, and love are surrounding your family and her many friends as we seek to be in this new reality without her bright presence. We are standing with you in celebration of Shirley and who she was to each of us, and especially to you, her dear family.

Posted by Dianne Whiting - Friend   August 09, 2020

Shirley has been a ray of light in our Monte Vista Grove community! Capably stepping up where and whenever needed. Her knowledgeable leadership in our Wellness Center, teaching the aerobics, balance, fitness classes was always rejuvenating and inspiring. Whether on a personal one-to-one basis, or in a class, Shirley gave fully of herself. At the dining table, I'd overhear her being asked to offer wisdom and guidance on auto purchases...we smiled when we labeled her MVGHs' "car guru!" Like a daughter, accountant, personal shopper, tax preparer, all around loving friend to a dear 'sister' resident, Shirley was a saint in shorts and a t-shirt! Except when she was dressed up ...then she was a gorgeous knock-out!
The photo of smiling Shirley in front of the cold grey Alaskan glacier, is the perfect image of how Shirley brought light and warmth to any and every environment! How her beautiful spirit and smile will be missed...but how grateful we are to have known this Tennessee beauty in Pasadena, California.
Barbara and Jim Mathieu
MVGH residents

Posted by Barbara and Jim Mathieu - Pasadena, CA - Neighbor   August 06, 2020

My son Jim and I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant near Shirley and Charles' place. I learned from the bio that Shirley met Charles at a single adult class association with a church. That's the way I met my Pat and we are still together after 34 years. Charles you and Shirley had an exciting and wonderful life together like Pat and I.

Posted by Charles Guittard - Dallas, TX - Family Friend   August 05, 2020

I wish I'd gotten to know Shirley. What I do know is that she raised two amazing daughters. Sending my deepest condolences to the entire family.

Posted by Erin Jones-Slatev - Edmond, OK - Family Friend   August 04, 2020

Posted by Mark Tang - Los Angeles, CA - neighbor   August 04, 2020

hi this is Mark Tang
i was stunned to read the email this morning from Monte Vista
regarding the death of Shirley Castles.
She was an immediate neighbor to my father and mother
Theodore and Loretta Tang.
and a great friend to all of our family, helpful and giving in all the needs
and transitions that my parents went through. our experience
with her was invaluable, she was always
there to check in on my parents and was the my first contact in many
of the emergencies with them.
i am truly sorry to hear that this great person has died from a
sudden illness, and my family sends to her family our sadness
and sorrow for Shirley Castles.

Posted by Mark Tang - Los Angeles, CA - neighbor   August 04, 2020

hi this is Mark Tang
i was stunned to read the email this morning from Monte Vista
regarding the death of Shirley Castles.
She was an immediate neighbor to my father and mother
Theodore and Loretta Tang.
and a great friend to all of our family, helpful and giving in all the needs
and transitions that my parents went through. our experience
with her was invaluable, she was always
there to check in on my parents and was the my first contact in many
of the emergencies with them.
i am truly sorry to hear that this great person has died from a
sudden illness, and my family sends to her family our sadness
and sorrow for Shirley Castles.

Posted by Mark Tang - Los Angeles, CA - Neighbor   August 04, 2020

Heaven is rejoicing! My beautiful cousin with her heart of gold is now running on streets of gold. You always made life fun! Rest easy sweet girl!!! Love you!

Posted by Fran Robertson - Chattanooga, TN - Family   August 04, 2020

Thank you,Shirley, for all of the ways in which you inspired Rachel and myself in our exercise programs at Monte Vista Grove and helped as we were looking for our new Prius. Your love, thoughtfulness and knowledge will be greatly missed. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with others throughout your life and especially in these last few years at Monte Vista Grove. Our lives have been blessed by yours.

We pray that Charles and all of the family will know God's comfort, guidance and strength at this time.

Huw

Posted by Huw Christopher - Pasadena, CA - Neighbor   August 03, 2020

I will always remember our Go Girls sprint tri club. Shirley was unstoppable and so motivating. I will always cherish our chats and her words of encouragement. My condolences for her family.

Posted by Cristi Benitez - Clovis, CA   August 03, 2020

Randy and Debbie Powell, we Pastored in Woodlake Ca during the time Charles and Shirley Pastored in Woodlake at the Presbyterian Church. We enjoyed their Friendship, and loved Shirley's laughter and quick smile. We are so sorry for your loss, heaven has gained an angel. Please tell Pastor Charles, Pastor Randy is so sorry for his loss.

Posted by Deborah Powell - Merced, CA - Friend   August 02, 2020

I went to elementary school, Jr Hi, and Sr Hi with Charles. We have kept in touch through college, our professional lives, and in retirement. One day I got a postcard from him and he had met Shirley and they decided to radically change both of their lives. We visited them in Union Star and Oklahoma City. Shirley was always active and managing offices, organizing new programs, and mastering everything she did. She would drive from Oklahoma City to Tulsa to take Claire and Jhey (Jennifer back then) to the nearest ice skating rink so they could practice and compete. I remember one time we visited their church and they were having Bingo games. I was on a winning streak and won several games. Shirley reached over and grabbed my Bingo card and gave me hers so I would quit winning. I won twice on her card. We visited them quite often. Jennifer told me once she thought we were part of the family until she was old enough to know we weren't related. I cried when I heard about Shirley. I cried because I had lost a friend and I cried because I felt what this would mean to her family. Peace to all.

Posted by Fred and Patricia Mayes - Edmond, OK - Classmate   August 01, 2020

Shirley was my co-worker and dear friend. She opened up her heart to my family and me. She was my co-worker and my friend. Always there for me unconditionally and likewise. We worked together for about 10 years combined. The last years, we worked side by side in the office. We worked so well together and we would share stories of our past and recent events while working. She looked forward to my stories because I always had something to share. She became a pro negotiator when it came to vehicle purchases after me sharing my experiences with her. It was a work setting that we both enjoyed coming to because we enjoyed each other's company and the job. We were a team and always ready to help each other. We would take power walks on Monday and Thursday...walked 2 miles round trip to get our lunch. Different places but the staple place for her was Subway. I would watch her order, take her sandwich and separate the bread. We would go to Panera Bread and she would order her favorite salad. When it arrived, she would take out the onions and put them on my plate. She did not like onions but I do. That is how our friendship was that we felt so comfortable around each other especially during a meal. Shirley's favorite place to go during lunch was Fish King in Glendale, CA. She loved going there.

Shirley had a favorite line at work when asked about a previous assignment or event and that line was what, I don't remember. I've slept since then. But she did remember. Best office experience was when we both were on a conference call and the host made a comment and we made comments to ourselves (which were contrary to the comments being made by the host) thinking that we were on mute, but we were not. Next thing you hear is the host asking who said that. We both looked at each other, put the phone on mute and laughed all day long. Those were the kinds of things I experienced with Shirley. She made me laugh all day long.

Shirley, I will miss you

Posted by Zoila Rauda - Alhambra, CA - Family Friend   August 01, 2020

Candle

We miss you, Momma.

Posted by Jhey castles - los Angeles, CA - daughter   July 31, 2020

Beautiful life story. Love and prayers to Shirley's family. Her light remains alive

Posted by Sandy Aslanian - Santa Rosa, CA - Friend   July 31, 2020