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Shirley Gene (White) Berry passed away on July 27, 2017 following a tragic auto accident in Lufkin, Texas. Shirley was born December 5, 1956 in Houston, Texas to Charles and Georgia White. She grew up in Houston and worked in the insurance industry there for 30 years before becoming a teacher with Spring Branch ISD.

Shirley graduated as an honors student from Spring Woods High School in 1975. She was a proud member of the high school symphony and marching bands and an avid student of home economics. She went on to earn a Bachelor's degree at The University of Houston with a major in Human Development & Consumer Science. Originally, Shirley intended to become a teacher, but accepted an interim position at a small insurance broker in Houston in 1980. She developed a love for insurance and proceeded to make that her career over the next 30 years. Over her career, she worked at several local and regional agencies, as well as a large international commercial insurance carrier. Later in life, her original calling of teaching led her back to education. She accepted a position as a substitute teacher in Spring Branch ISD, which she attended in her teen and pre-teen years.

Although Shirley lived in Houston her whole life, she was a country girl at heart. A year ago, she and her husband, Rick, bought a horse ranch in Lufkin, Texas with the intention of retiring there and living out her life. She loved the animals and found a passion for gardening and canning.

Shirley was a diabetic, but refused to allow her condition to slow her down. She was an active runner and cyclist completing the Chevron Houston marathon twice, in addition to the MS 150 bike ride from Houston to Austin. She loved travelling, especially by cruise ship, and visited over 60 countries in her life. She had just returned from a Caribbean cruise with her family three weeks before her passing.

Shirley's creativity was reflected in her passions for photography, scrapbooking, painting, sewing, and cooking. She played flute in her high school band, and her love for music endured throughout her life.

She loved people and looked forward to meeting new friends. Her positive outlook endeared her to those she met. Shirley will be sorely missed, but for those of us who were fortunate to know her, the memories of this wonderful person will live on forever.

Shirley was preceded in death by her father Charles (Chuck) White and her grandmother Eula Lindsey; as well as her pet Schnauzer, Punkin. She is survived by her mother Georgia White; her husband Rick Berry, son Justin Berry, daughter Jennifer and husband Ben Murrill; as well as her grandchildren Charlotte and Annie Murrill; sister Lynn Wren and husband Bobby, all of Houston; sister Geneva and husband Lee of Ft Worth; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts; and many friends.

Visitation with the family was held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at Waltrip Funeral Directors in Houston. Funeral services were 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 3, at Fair Haven United Methodist Church, also in Houston, with Rev. Bob Luton, officiating.

Additional visitation began at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 4, 2017 at Coker Mathews Funeral Home, 5100 IH-30 in Greenville, Texas, where services began at 11:00 a.m. and Rev. Benny Chaffin, officiated. Interment followed in Memoryland Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.