Shirley Alma Anderson, daughter of the late Emelda and William Lazard was born October 25, 1924 in New Orleans, Louisiana. At an early age she moved with her mother to Philadelphia, PA where her mother graduated from Madam C.J. Walker's Apex College of Beauty Culture & Hairdressing, then opened a beauty salon on Race Street named for her daughter.
As they settled in Philadelphia Shirley and Emelda converted to Catholicism and Shirley became the first child of color to attend Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School in West Philadelphia. She later graduated from Girl's West Catholic High School in 1942.
That same year Shirley married her childhood sweetheart, Joseph "Teddy" Evans, a man known for his gentle kindness and humor. From that union Shirley became the loving mother of two children, Martiena and Joseph Jr.
In addition to caring for her family, Shirley worked at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary until she needed to give full time care to her ailing husband. Teddy preceded her in death on August 18, 1989.
Years later Shirley married Wilson Campbell “Andy” Anderson, a childhood friend. Together Shirley and Andy enjoyed taking long trips and attending social functions for Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and The Silhouettes. He passed away on November 21, 2012.
For those who knew her, Shirley’s kind smile was a gateway to her kind heart. She cared for friends and family with patience, respect, and humor. She loved children, adored baby dolls, and looked forward to talking on the phone with her oldest grandson in California who kept her laughing with corny jokes. Shirley and her daughter Martiena also enjoyed season tickets to plays and musicals at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.
Shirley was well-known and well-loved at Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church in West Philadelphia, where she attended mass and sang in the choir for most of her life. She was a member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Knights of Peter Claver and she often found ways to help support her church family through fundraising projects and outings. When Our Lady of the Rosary (later named Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament) closed in 2014 Shirley began attending mass at St Cyprian Roman Catholic Church.
Shirley made her transition in the early morning on December 31, 2020. She is survived by her two children Martiena and Joseph Jr, as well as her grandchildren Stan Arango, Aaron McClain, and Heather McClain.
Submitted With Love,
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