Shirley Miles Smith
Shirley Miles Smith was born on May 12, 1930 to the proud parents of James and Marjorie in Maracaibo, Venezuela. They moved back to England and three years later she would become a big sister when Patricia was born on July 28, 1933.
Shirley was nine years old when WWII began in England. She would tell us stories of living in Woburn Sands in the middle of England during the war. Her parents kept her sheltered from the news and the newspapers, but nothing kept out the sound of the German airplanes flying over at night. To quote her, “Daddy would take us downstairs where the cupboard under the stairs was cleared and there was a mattress instead. We would stay down there so that if the house got hit, we would be safe.” (excerpt from an interview done by a family friend for a school project about WWII). She would recall the rationing of food and other textiles. She recalled V E Day in England as one of the happiest times of that era.
She finished school in eleventh grade due to the traveling caused by her father’s career with Shell Oil. From 1946-47 she worked for Hannington’s in Brighton, England selling handbags. In 1948 she began working at Radio Trinidad where she would meet radio legend Frank Pardo, her sister’s future husband. In 1953, she met the love of her life in Trinidad, our dad, Thomas. On their first date, Tom laid his greasy palm-oiled head of hair in her lap and looked into her eyes and said, “You are the girl that I am going to marry.” She thought he was a cheeky bugger but loved this American and his forwardness. After an accident the night before the wedding that left Tom with scrapes all down the left side of his face, the wedding continued without a hitch on June 27, 1953. Tom borrowed a friend’s suit, even had it altered, and they embarked on a relationship that would span almost 65 years together. Tom passed away on April 12, 2018 after a long string of medical issues.
While living in Trinidad, they gave birth to their first son Dean. Dean would go on to marry the love of his life Debbie in 1975 and have three children Ryan, Anna and Chris. Ryan sadly passed away suddenly in 2006 but not before leaving the family with the gift of his son Jordan. Anna would go on to marry Michael and added Wyatt, Dylan and Raelynn to our family.
Later, Tom left the Navy and returned to Cincinnati with Shirley and Dean and joined the Cincinnati Police Department. After two years and Shirley being pregnant with Michael, Tom re-enlisted in the Navy where their second son Michael was born in Bainbridge, Maryland. They were transferred to Norfolk, Virginia where their first daughter, Debra and number three son Timothy where born. Michael would go on to meet Earl and become life partners in 1973. Timothy would father a son Jared while living in Hilton Head Island. Debra married the love of her life Larry and together they have three children Matthew, Nicholas and Zachary. Their second to the eldest son Nicholas, with partner Tiffany, added two more great grandchildren to the family with the births of Jaxson and Olivia.
In the late sixties, the Navy would take Shirley’s family of six to Barbados, West Indies. There she would have her final child, Barbara. Barbara would go on to marry the love of her life Michael in 1990 and have two children, Cait and Anthony. Cait found her life partner Andrew and Anthony married his life partner Linda in 2018.
Shirley said the best job in her entire life was raising her children. Her life revolved around her five children and their spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved knitting and sewing as well as gardening. She was a very spiritual woman and was not afraid to be reunited with all the loved ones that our family has lost. She lived 3 weeks shy of 91 years on this planet and it will forever be changed by her presence and we will all miss her dearly. As Mum would say, “Toodle-loo”.
Shirley was loved by many other family members and friends from those in the United States, England, Barbados, and Canada. She adored her sister Patricia, her nieces Linda and Lisa and late nephews Michael and Jimmy as well as her countless great and great, great nieces and nephews.
Our Mum’s Last Wishes, written down in her own words:
Please don’t be sad, remember the good times. These days must come in each life. We will see each other again. Our Heavenly Father gave His Son so we would have eternal life. Remember that. Live a good life. Thank Him everyday for the day He has given you. We come from dust and dust we return. I love you all for the joy you gave me. I am proud of you all. Bless you all. Love Mum XOXOXOXOXO
(she also added to plant daffodils in her memory in lieu of flowers)
On May 1 from 1-2 pm our parents, Thomas Richard (August 18, 1930-April 12, 2018) and Shirley Miles (May 12, 1930-April 20, 2021) will be forever interned together in peace at Arlington Memorial Gardens Mausoleum in Cincinnati, Ohio in a private ceremony.