Obituaries » John William Shirley, Jr.

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John William Shirley, Jr.

July 28, 1966 - March 15, 2022

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John William Shirley, Jr. of Roanoke, VA, ended his hunting season at his home on March 15, 2022, after a brave battle with glioblastoma. He was born on July 28, 1966, in Bethesda, MD to John William Shirley, Sr., and Miriam Ross Thompson. Graduating from Virginia Tech in accounting before pursuing post-graduate work in building construction, he was a true Renaissance man: raising bees, growing a garden, loving his pets, skiing with reckless abandon, adopting green building methods, and cooking a mean fudge. Not bad for a frat boy, and his devotion to the VT TKE house has kept it standing to this day. As a contractor, John could renovate anything except, perhaps, his own house, and was a CPA who served nonprofits such as Brain Injury Services and Children’s Trust along with his tax clients. It was the outdoors that fueled his soul, whether perched on his deer stand or wading into most any trout stream. In fact, many a fish are breathing a sigh of relief today. But his friends mourn the loss of a steadfast rock who would give the tie-dye shirt off his back to help them.

He is preceded in death by four grandparents with a wide range of typical American roots including Native American, several lines of Scottish immigrants as well as English, French and German immigrants who settled in Virginia and South Carolina. And by his beloved Labrador Retriever’s LT (Chief Little Terror Shirley) and Tank (Cantankerous Maximus Shirley) whose ashes will lie with John’s.

He is survived by his one true love, Kerry Kinnison, who bravely fought by his side and gave him great comfort and her daughter Mary; his father, John William Shirley, Sr. (JoAnn), mother, Miriam Ross Thompson, brother, Bruce Shirley (Claire), sister, Rose Black (Scott), step-sister Tonya Locke (Russ), step-brother Shannon Byrum, nephews, Seth, Jackson, and Liam nieces, Ella Rose and Lena, and cat Skiddie Kitty.

A graveside service will be held on March 26, 2022, at 3:00 pm, with visitation beginning at 2:00 pm in the mausoleum at Forest Rest Natural Cemetery, 5970 Grassy Hill Rd., Boones Mill, VA 24065. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Children’s Trust at, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia at, and/or Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity at, and in lieu of sadness, we remember to “Bend with the Wind.”

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory in Roanoke is assisting the family.

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