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A Memorial service will be held for Delman Shirley, 86, of Clovis at Central Baptist Church on Monday, November 6, 2023 at 1:00 PM with Rev. Dan Pearce officiating. Mark Robertson, Lane Clark, Dave Clark, Bobby Benson, Taylor and Clark McClain, Chance Shirley, Todd Estes and John Beard will serve as honorary pall bearers.
Delman Shirley passed away peacefully on October 31, 2023 surrounded by family. Delman was born on October 11, 1937 in Anson, TX to the home of Holbert and Blanche (Wallis) Shirley. The family moved to Roosevelt County, NM in 1941, and established a family farm where he and his 10 siblings grew up. Delman attended schools at Floyd and Portales, graduating from Portales High School in 1955. It was there that he met his high school sweetheart Jolene Clark, and they married on December 31,1955. They adopted their son Monty in 1963 and their daughter Janet in 1967.
Delman received his Bachelors of Science degree in 1960, a Master of Education degree in 1965 and a Specialist in Education Degree in 1972 all from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. Early in his career, Delman served as principal for the Cimarron schools. Through his career, he had taught in Raton, Portales and eventually the Clovis schools. For the last ten years of his career, he was principal/teacher at Lincoln Jackson Elementary School in Clovis.
Delman was very active in educational organizations. He was a continuous member of NEA-NM and the respective locals. He served on and presided over many committees in the NEA. Delman was inducted into the Hall of Fame at ENMU as well as the NEA-NM State and Southeast Region. He was elected to the Educational Retirement Board by NEA-NM. He held several positions on the Educational Retirement Board, and even chaired the board for over 10 years. He worked tirelessly for years, going to countless board meetings in Santa Fe to improve the retirement system for educators of NM, which ranks as one of the top systems in the USA. He also was on the NM Educators Insurance Committee where he was able to improve the health insurance for the educators in NM during the time of his career. He retired from the education field after 35 years. During that time, he continued to serve others, helping them with their retirement needs and serving in the local New Mexico Retired Association (NMRA).
Delman enjoyed hunting with his close friends at Mills Canyon. He often took his son Monty and his friends and grandson, Chance on those trips, and they always had new stories to share. Delman also enjoyed his CB friends where he was known by his handle “Slide Rule.”
Delman was a carpenter, and had built his family’s home in Portales. He also made clocks and other items for gifts. In the summers, he and his close friend would roof houses with his son Monty and his friends. Other interests included genealogy. He and his sisters spent countless hours researching family history, and went on several trips researching and meeting new relatives.
The family often went on camping trips with friends and family. Delman loved to help others and was very active in his children and grandchildren’s lives. He was always there when his family needed him. Delman had taught most of his grandchildren to drive. He loved to tease and joke around, and was a master at telling jokes, and had one for every occasion.
Delman was a member of Sandia Baptist Church of Clovis, NM. He loved God and led beautiful prayers before a meal. The family has assurance knowing that he is with our Lord and family members that have passed before him experiencing the joy and peace that only Heaven can give.
The family would like to thank the staff at Bee Hive Homes in Clovis, NM for the love and care they gave Delman in his last days. They loved him as their own and the family is forever grateful.
Delman will be missed by his daughter and son-in-law, Janet and Mark Robertson of Clovis; his six grandchildren, Chance (Stephanie) Shirley, Samantha (Bobby) Benson, Jennifer Shirley, Ashley (Taylor) McClain, Blake (Pauline) Smith, and Clarissa (Brian) Quintana; his 12 great-grandchildren, Carter Shirley, Olivia Shirley, Clark McClain, Ivy McClain, Mia Kidd, Kate McClain, Makayla Smith, Blake Smith, Jr., Anna Smith, Brandon Smith, Madysyn Quintana and Jaxon Quintana; three sisters, Doris Brown of Austin, TX, Peggy Sue Gaynor of Chandler, TX and Judy Clark of Brownsboro, TX; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Delman is preceded in death by his wife of almost 66 years, Jolene (Clark) Shirley; his parents Holbert and Blanche (Wallis) Shirley; his son Monty Shirley; five sisters and brothers-in-law, Alice and Fred Collins, Arlene and Orvil Griffith, Marie and J. B. Hatch, Wanda Roberts-Reed and first husband, Estel Roberts, and Barbara and Ray Goddard; two brothers Albert and Ronnie Shirley; nephews, Elton Collins, Dale Griffith, Jerry Griffith, Pete Kimbrell, David Roberts, Jason Shirley, and Steve Ackerman; and nieces, Beverly (Clark) Collins, Sharon (Griffith) Cabeldue, Joyce (Kimbrell) Horrell, Jackie Kimbrell, and Sarah Roberts.