Shirley L. Woodward

Shirley L. Woodward. Courtesy photo.

Shirley L. Woodward (Ellis)
1921 – 2020

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Shirley was the oldest living member of the Ellis family of Clearlake, California, at age 99.

She was born to Phil Ellis Sr. and Myrtle (DeVecci) Ellis on Feb. 23, 1921, in San Jose, California. They lived in San Francisco, California, until Shirley was 6.

The family moved to Clearlake in 1927 and that is where Shirley lived most of the remainder of her life.

Shirley is remembered for being a loving and caring woman with a sense of humor and smile that always lit up a room. We all love and miss her so very much.

After moving to Clearlake Shirley attended Burns Valley Elementary School. She later would graduate from Lower Lake High School. There she met her sweetheart, Harold Martin. They had a long courtship before Harold was inducted into the U.S. Army.

While on furlough, Shirley and Harold were wed on March 4, 1944, in a lovely evening ceremony in the Lower Lake Community Church.

Within the year a son, Gary Ellis Martin was born on Dec. 11, 1944. Two years later on Oct. 26, 1946, a daughter, Cherie Lee was born to the Martins.

Shirley taught Sunday school at Clearlake Highlands Methodist Church, became active in the community, worked outside the home and loved working in her yard. She enjoyed bowling, joined the Order of the Easter Star and traveled with her parents.

In 1964, Shirley went to work for Bank of America in Lower Lake as a pro-assistant cashier. After 18 years, Shirley retired with the title branch administration officer at the Lower Lake branch. There was quite a celebration for her held at the Elks Lodge in Clearlake.

For many years, Shirley was an active member of the Community United Methodist Church in Lower Lake. She also volunteered in the church thrift shop for nearly 20 years.

Shirley loved to play bingo the most, but she also enjoyed playing cards, and going on road trips with her best friend Helen.

Shirley was fortunate in her later years to find love again with Robert l. Woodward. They were wed July 24, 1993. She always said she saved the best for last.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Phil and Myrtle Ellis; brothers, Phil Ellis Jr. (Rae), Keith Ellis (Evelyn) and Don Ellis (Patricia); sister, Burdette Pontier (Tony); ex-husband, Harold Martin; son, Gary E. Martin (Carol); and her beloved husband, Robert Woodward.

Shirley leaves behind her daughter, Cherie Carr of Clearlake; granddaughter, Brenda Ahart (Keith) of Lakeport; grandsons, Gary Dean Martin (Kathleen) of Elk Grove, John Beason (Melinda) of San Jose, Adam Beason (Mary) of San Diego and Nathan Beason of Los Angeles; great-granddaughters, Kaylee, Korie, Gianna and Olivia, and great-grandson, Bubba; as well as six nephews and two nieces.

Shirley’s family would like to thank all who sent cards and other expressions of love during this time of mourning.

Donations in her memory may be made to Lower Lake United Methodist Church.