Shirley Whitley

Shirley Whitley

Age 99, Stanley, Va.

Shirley Whitley, 99, passed away on September 11, 2023, at her home in Marksville, outside of Stanley, Virginia.

She was born on February 17, 1924, to the late John Noble and Anna Wolford Shuff in Fort Gay, West Virginia, the youngest of their five children.

Shirley grew up in Princeton, West Virginia, before leaving home in 1942 for Detroit, Michigan, to assist with the war effort by becoming a “Rosie the Riveter.”

In 1947, she married Gerald E. Whitley and they enjoyed 53 happy years of marriage before his passing in 2000. The Whitleys retired to Page County in 1975 and found their perfect place to call home. For Mom, that meant a view of her beloved mountains, a garden to tend and a yard to mow.

Shirley is survived by her two children, John Charles “Chuck” Whitley and wife Peggy of Amissville, Virginia, and Donna Whitley-Smith and husband John Smith of Luray; two beloved granddaughters, Jessica Whitley of Fairfax, Virginia, and Hannah Whitley of Loveland, Colorado; as well as a step grandson, Greg Smith of Grottoes, Virginia.

In addition to her siblings, she was preceded in death by a niece, Steveanna Wynn, who she considered a second daughter; and her dear “Steel Magnolias,” with whom she shared so many of life’s joys and sorrows.

Shirley was a woman with a strong streak of independence, and that determination allowed her to live without assistance in her home until three months before her passing. The kindness, care and love she received from two amazing “helpers” during those last days made it possible for her to retain her dignity to the last.

The service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 15, at Grace Lutheran Church in Ida. Interment will be private at Graves Chapel Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 14, at the Bradley Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA), P.O. Box 723, Luray, Virginia 22835, to support Page County’s families and youth.


  1. I will miss Mrs. Whitney a lot, she always had a smile and bragged that the Town of Stanley had the best tasting water of anywhere she had ever been. We have lost a great pillar in our community.

    • Thank you, Terry. Mom did love “Terry’s water”! She thought Stanley was a great place to call home because of the great folks who live and work there

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