Shirley Matt Edmontson

18 Dec

ShirleyI met Shirley in person on the day that I married her son in West Chester Pennsylvania. She and her husband Paul drove into town that day from Kansas City Missouri. They made it time to see us taking our vows. They were lucky, because the wedding was running late due to the minister was running late. I had a home wedding at my father’s home. So the first hug from Shirley, when I was officially her daughter in law. David was her second son and the first to get married. David and I stayed in the area for our honeymoon to spend time with his folks and my mother who flew in from California. I had visit Shirley about three times within the first two years of our marriage. The third time was when we brought our first son and her first grandson to meet his grandparents. He was about three months old. She was so excited to see him rolled over in the bed. Who would have known that would be the last time that we saw her alive. I can remember that call from David’s brother to say that Shirley is being rushed to the hospital. The next call, I heard my husband scream. With that scream I knew that a part of my husband had died right along with his mother’s death. Her funeral was the same week of her first grandson’s first birthday. We celebrated Shirley’s homecoming and my son’s first birthday together. Shirley is deeply missed by her family. The four grandchildren that followed my first son from us and David’s siblings were to never see her in person, but her life will never be forgotten.

It was the year of 1933 that Shirley Matt Edmontson was born in Tennessee.  Her parents Daniel Edmondson and Rheota Warfield  married in the year of 1930. Shirley’s only sister Avie Dean Edmontson was born in 1930.

Daniel parents : Reverend Elbert Henry Edmontson and Mary Elizabeth Ward. They both were born in Tennessee.

Rheota parents: Monroe Warfield and Annie James. Monroe was born in Kentucky and Annie James was born in Tennessee.

In 1930 Annie James and Rheota Elizabeth Edmontson were teachers at a public school. Monroe worked at the saw mill and Daniel worked at the rail road. They all lived together on Bates Street in South Fulton City, Obion County in Tennessee.


Rheota Warfield delayed birth certificate.

In 1940 Rheota had divorced Daniel and was living with her mother Annie. They both were still public school teachers. Rheota’s daughters Avie and Shirley were not listed with them in the household. Rheota’s name eventually became Rheoda. It might have been Rheoda from the start and wrong on the birth certificate.

The 1940 census had Daniel still married but he was not residing with Rheota, he was an inmate at the Tennessee State Prison. 1953 Daniel appear to have not been in prison and requested his delayed birth certificate.


Shirley followed her mother and attended Lane College and graduated in 1955. She also became a teacher.

During her senior year at Lane, she met a junior student and fell head over heels for him. She married my husband’s father in May of 1955. He graduated from Lane a year later and then went to law school.

Shirley had three children. She worked closely with husband with his law practice. Shirley loved to laugh. She did not like the Three Stooges shows on television. She love to travel. Her signature perfume was Channel #5. My husband David was her ten pound baby and she would always say that he was a happy baby. Besides her husband, her closest friends were her mother and sister.

Shirley 2

Happy 80th birthday Mom


Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Edmontson, Tennessee, Warfield


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9 responses to “Shirley Matt Edmontson

  1. claimingkin

    December 18, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Stephani, this is a beautiful tribute to such a BEAUTIFUL mother! Thank you so much for sharing her memory and allowing us a chance to celebrate her with you today!

    • Stephani Juleeana Miller

      December 18, 2013 at 5:17 am

      Thank you Liv..even though she has not been on earth for 26 years, she does continue to live within us and now she is alive in words for her next generations to know.

  2. True!

    December 18, 2013 at 4:56 am

    “Happy Birthday to a Fine Lady”! I’m from Pa! born and raised!

    • Stephani Juleeana Miller

      December 18, 2013 at 5:07 am

      True,which county of Pa. I lived in Chester and Philadelphia Counties and my husband’s paternal family lived in Chester County since the 1700’s.

  3. M. Dawn

    December 18, 2013 at 5:15 am

    Wonderful tribute to your mother-in-law.

    • Stephani Juleeana Miller

      December 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Thank you Dawn, the short 3 years of knowing her, separated by distance of miles..I still respect her today as the Queen of this branch. I regret painfully that my sons did not know their Queen of their paternal branch. But with this posting made me feel good to have acknowledge her, that her life did have purpose and made a difference.

  4. Bernita

    December 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    This was such a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing her story. Happy Birthday to the wonderful woman you called mom.

  5. Brown bear

    June 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    u r a special women to do this.May God bless u


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