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Shirley Ann (Merritt) Stelzer
July 27, 1942 ~ November 1, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
Shirley Ann Stelzer of Waco, TX lost her battle with cancer Wednesday, November 1, 2023. Shirley was the first of 5 children born to Carl and Novilla Merritt. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and grew up in Northeast Oklahoma. After enlisting in the US Navy as a WAVE in the early 1960s, she met and married William (Bill) John Stelzer of Toledo, Ohio, a fellow Navy Radioman. She lived a life full of love and laughter and will be missed by many. She loved all things pink, and her favorite flowers were roses. She was a master of costuming and loved the process from searching for the perfect button or fabric to the construction of the final masterpiece. If you are fortunate enough to hold a costume or piece of clothing that states, “Handmade by Shirley Stelzer,” her legacy and your blessings will continue.
Shirley and Bill were married over 50 years and are survived by their children, Teresa Marie Dixon of Crawford, Texas, Magda Stelzer-Rice of Lexington, South Carolina, Janette Lynn Gaines of Jonesborough, Tennessee, and William John Stelzer, Jr. of Summerville, South Carolina. In addition, Shirley leaves behind her younger sister, Patricia Davis and younger brother, Phillip Merritt of Bixby, Oklahoma, 6 nieces, 12 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Stelzer, her parents, John Carl and Novilla Merritt, and her twin brothers, Lonnie and Johnnie Merritt.
Visitation will be Monday, November 6, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Grace Gardens, 8220 Woodway Drive in Woodway, Texas. Burial services will be held January 6, 2024, at Bixby Cemetery, Bixby, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Autism Speaks, OR Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, ATTN: IN HONOR of Shirley Stelzer, PO Box 585, Jonesborough, TN 37659.