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Shirley Ann Castles
  • In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to be made to Monte Vista Grove, an independent, non-profit senior community.
  • Monte Vista Grove
    2889 San Pasqual Street
    Pasadena, CA 91107

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Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Shirley by adding your memories and photos.



Memories & Candles

“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...Read More »
1 of 26 | Posted by: Tania Yarema - Romeo, MI

“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...Read More »
2 of 26 | Posted by: Richard Francis - Carroll, IA

“Condolences on your loss. ”
3 of 26 | Posted by: Paul Barnum - South Elgin, IL

“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...Read More »
4 of 26 | Posted by: Gaylene Stiles - Bethany, OK

“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,...Read More »
5 of 26 | Posted by: Ron Kingsley - Oklahoma City, OK

“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...Read More »
6 of 26 | Posted by: Pam Kingsley - Oklahoma City, OK

“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. ”
7 of 26 | Posted by: Jim and Cindi Rogers - CA

“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...Read More »
8 of 26 | Posted by: John Castles - Dallas, TX

Castles family in Oct. 1986 after their last service as pastor in Union Star, Mo. “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...Read More »
9 of 26 | Posted by: Linda and Randal Bollinger - WA

“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...Read More »
10 of 26 | Posted by: Jason Sallee - Los Angeles, CA

“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,...Read More »
11 of 26 | Posted by: Jane Holslag - Berlin GERMANY

“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...Read More »
12 of 26 | Posted by: Dianne Whiting - Friend

“Shirley has been a ray of light in our Monte Vista Grove community! Capably stepping up where and whenever needed. Her knowledgeable leadership in...Read More »
13 of 26 | Posted by: Barbara and Jim Mathieu - CA

“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...Read More »
14 of 26 | Posted by: Charles Guittard - Dallas, TX

“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. ”
15 of 26 | Posted by: Erin Jones-Slatev - Edmond, OK

A Video Condolence Has Been Left
16 of 26 | Posted by: Mark Tang - Los Angeles, CA

“hi this is Mark Tangi was stunned to read the email this morning from Monte Vistaregarding the death of Shirley Castles.She was an immediate neighbor...Read More »
17 of 26 | Posted by: Mark Tang - Los Angeles, CA

“hi this is Mark Tangi was stunned to read the email this morning from Monte Vistaregarding the death of Shirley Castles.She was an immediate neighbor...Read More »
18 of 26 | Posted by: Mark Tang - Los Angeles, CA

“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!!!...Read More »
19 of 26 | Posted by: Fran Robertson - Chattanooga, TN

“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...Read More »
20 of 26 | Posted by: Huw Christopher - Pasadena, CA

“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...Read More »
21 of 26 | Posted by: Cristi Benitez - Clovis, CA

“Randy and Debbie Powell, we Pastored in Woodlake Ca during the time Charles and Shirley Pastored in Woodlake at the Presbyterian Church. We enjoyed...Read More »
22 of 26 | Posted by: Deborah Powell - Merced, CA

Charles has met Shirley “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...Read More »
23 of 26 | Posted by: Fred and Patricia Mayes - Edmond, OK

“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...Read More »
24 of 26 | Posted by: Zoila Rauda - Alhambra, CA

“We miss you, Momma. ”
25 of 26 | Posted by: Jhey castles - los Angeles, CA

“Beautiful life story. Love and prayers to Shirley's family. Her light remains alive ”
26 of 26 | Posted by: Sandy Aslanian - Santa Rosa, CA


Shirley Castles was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Sunday, July 1, 1951. Shirley lived boldly and with few compromises. Following a sudden and severe aneurysm, on July 27, 2020, Shirley was taken away from her family and friends. To her final moments, Shirley fought hard for who she loved and what she believed in. Shirley was an explorer and embodied the spirit of adventure. She was brave and unflinching when it came to an opportunity to try something new. Her passions and talents were many.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Charles Castles, her mother, Karlyn Meier, her stepfather, Richard Meier, her sister and brother-in-law, Pamela and Ron Kingsley, her stepsister, Sherry Bolstad, her brother-in-law, John Castles, her daughter and son-in-law, Claire Castles and Jake Hocker, her daughter and son-in-law, Jhey Castles and Jason Sallee, her nieces and nephews, Elizabeth Lee (husband, Ben Lee, and sons Elliot (9) and Finn (7)), Michael Kingsley (wife Laura Kingsley and son, Ian (almost 2)), Melea Kingsley and Makana Kingsley, and her grandson, Atlas James Hocker (8 months).

As a child, Shirley instinctively looked to help her family, whether it was teaching herself to sew to make clothes for her mother or drawing paper piano keyboards to teach neighborhood friends piano. She was a spunky and ever-spirited child always there to help her sister and mother no matter the challenge.

Shirley's love for life and others fueled her to start many impactful and longstanding ministries. While attending College Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, Shirley was part of the evangelism team and started the Singles Ministry. It was through this ministry that she first met her husband, Charles.

After a whirlwind courtship of one month, Charles proposed and promised Shirley a life that was never boring - a promise she held him to at all times. Within six months they were married and within a week, Shirley and Charles packed up all of their belongings (including her Fiat) into a U-Haul truck. With all of life in a truck and towing a Dodge Dart Swinger, Shirley traveled to Pasadena, California with Charles for him to attend Fuller Seminary and to start their ministry as a couple.

After seminary, they moved to Union Star, Missouri (pop. 419) for their first pastorate. Shirley received her Chaplain certification and worked tirelessly to help families navigate their toughest days sharing her love of the Lord and bringing peace in difficult times. Her unstoppable energy and keen eye towards community need inspired her to found the Little Star Preschool. This preschool was the only early childhood development resource serving Union Star and its surrounding communities for 30 years before this integral educational resource was formally folded into the Union Star School District.

Shirley was an energetic and engaged mother. Despite early years of living in a rural and remote community, Shirley was committed to providing opportunities and experiences for her daughters. Shirley would spend hours driving to skating rinks, skating competitions, piano lessons, museums, and more. She loved her children fiercely, and attended her daughter, Jhey's many concerts and shows no matter the dive bar or mountain top.

When her husband felt the call to move to another pastorate in Oklahoma City, Shirley exuberantly welcomed the move and new adventures. Her continued passion and drive to serve others resulted in her founding a community caregiver's day out program for individuals experiencing dementia and Alzheimers. This program (Caregiver's Day Out, later known as DayBreak) was eventually integrated into the Mercy Health Senior's Health programs given its critical role in facilitating therapeutic group activities while caregivers received much needed respite.

Following 10 years of service in Oklahoma, Shirley and Charles went to their last pastorate in Woodlake, California. Here, Shirley fell in love with the easy access to mountains and new friends for hiking and camping adventures. She loved the Woodlake Presbyterian community and was active in its music program. In Woodlake, Shirley started cycling. Her community focus never waned, and ended up pulling together a group of co-workers at Cigna to train together for their first of many triathlons. Shirley's ability to shine joy never dimmed and others were to quick to notice, which likely is why her Las Vegas Iron Girl finish line moment was featured in their televised race highlighting the non-competitive athletes and their race experiences.

After retirement, Shirley and Charles moved to Monte Vista Grove where they enjoyed the spirit and fellowship of others called to the ministry. Ever inspired by the needs of others and seeking to help, Shirley obtained her fitness instructor certification to start helping and planning with expanded senior fitness classes at the Monte Vista Grove Wellness Center.

Shirley loved whitewater rafting, hiking, cycling, competing in triathlons, camping, traveling, puzzles, sewing, cooking grits and more. When Shirley was able to convince Charles to buy an RV, she planned amazing adventures for her granddog, Frank, and niece and nephew, Melea and Makana. She proudly had her RV packed and ready to hit the road quickly to explore beaches, mountains and national parks.

Shirley always responded to any new opportunity or experience with a resounding "yes!" - never meeting a stranger or a strange land. Shirley loved without judgement or inhibition. Her passion, drive and light will be missed, but not forgotten.

The family appreciates your support and love during these difficult times. Please share your stories and photos on the Memory Book (currently, the Light A Candle function is not working - so just use the Memory Book at this time). We are eager to hear more Shirley stories.