Shirley Mae Goff, 80, of Sun City, Arizona, passed away on 01/27/2021. Shirley Mae Goff (nee Miller) was born to Orville Theodore Miller and Katherine Lucille Hoffman on June 11, 1940 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Shirley spent her early years, along with her eight siblings (Lucille, Orville "Bud" Jr, Billie, Barbie, Bette, Sandy, Fran and Mary) in Racine, Wisconsin, and enjoyed very much, visiting the nearby WindPoint Lighthouse and Lake Michigan and was a regular at the local bakery, Larson's. Along with her mother and two youngest sisters (Fran and Mary), Shirley attended Bethel Methodist Church in Racine.
In 1954, looking for a dryer climate, and following in the footsteps of Shirley's brother, Bud, The Miller Family moved to Phoenix. While attending Washington High School, Shirley was a majorette and an avid roller skater. It was also during high school that she worked as a soda jerk at Upton's Soda Fountain in downtown Phoenix.
Shortly before her senior year, Shirley met her would-be husband, Donald Paul Goff. They courted and fell madly in love. A few months before graduation, on April 05, 1958, Shirley and Don eloped in Miami-Globe, Arizona. Then, two months later, on June 10, 1958, the day between their birthdays, Don and Shirley were "remarried" in an "official" ceremony at Central Methodist Church, in Phoenix, Arizona. They would spend the next 58 years, lovingly devoted to one another as husband and wife.
Not long after their wedding, Shirley and Don began to plan for a family, and a little less than one year later, welcomed their first child, Cynthia Diann (spouse Kenneth Michael Johnston). Two years later, their son Jeffrey Alan (spouse Brinda Sue Goff, nee Harkness) followed and four years after, their third and final, Teresa Dawn (spouse James Daniel Bowman II). From their three children, Shirley and Don were blessed with seven grandchildren, Thomas Michael Johnston, Stephanie Diann Johnston, James Daniel Bowman III, Justin Kody Goff, Jake Kallahan Goff, Brooke Aubrey Goff and Ryan Samuel Bowman.
Shirley spent most of her adult life as a homemaker and church volunteer, serving in many capacities at Bethany Bible Church, Palmcroft Baptist Church and most recently at Grace Bible Church in Sun City, Arizona. She was the quintessential wife, mother and grandmother, making sure that her husband, her children and her grandchildren were cared for and well loved. Shirley was a devoted follower of her Lord Jesus Christ and lived a life of service, giving of herself to friends and family, to her church and to anyone she might have encountered in need. It was with a servant's heart that she demonstrated, repeatedly, the light and love of her Heavenly Father unto others.
During the last years of her life, Shirley fought a losing battle with both dementia and Alzheimer's disease and while this posed it's share of heartache and struggle, both Shirley's faith and the love she had for her family endured. On January 27, 2021 at 04:44am, Shirley drew her final breath, in the peace and comfort of her home, hand-in-hand with her grandson, Thomas.
While her absence will leave an ache in the hearts of those who knew and loved her, there is no doubt that she has met her Creator, and that she is at long last reunited with her husband, Donald and with the family and friends gone before her. This was her time, and it is with blessed assurance, that those left behind, know she is praising her Saviour, all the day long.
The following is scripture, which Shirley held close to her heart:
"and we know that God causes all things to work together for the purpose of good."
- Romans 8:28
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
- Philippians 4:13
"You are tested in the same way all other humans are tested. God is faithful! He will not let you be tested any more than you can handle. Remember that when you are tested, have faith, God will give you a way out so that you might endure."
- I Corinthians 10:13
"Be still and know that I am God."
- Psalm 46:10
A private service will be held for members of the Goff family, where the remains of Shirley and her late husband, Donald, will be spread at sea, off the coast of southern California, near their favorite getaway — San Diego, a place they absolutely loved to visit time and time again.
In lieu of flowers, please make any desired contributions to The National Alzheimer's Foundation, in memory of Shirley Mae Goff.
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