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October 24, 1936 ~ June 13, 2022

Shirley Ann Crawford Strowd, 85, of Pittsboro, passed away peacefully in her home Monday, June 13, 2022.

Shirley was born in Orange County on October 24, 1936, to Frank and Ruth Crawford. She graduated from White Cross School and then received a degree at Kennedy Business School in Durham before marrying J. Wayne Strowd Sr. on Christmas Day, 1955. The young couple moved to Pittsboro where they have lived for almost 68 years. Shirley first worked at Chatham Mills as a secretary before working and retiring from BCBS in 1981. She later worked with the Chatham County DSS Fuel assistance program. Shirley was a member of Orange Chapel United Methodist Church and Mt. Gilead Baptist Church.

Shirley spent her days working outside the home while her husband farmed and spent her nights taking care of the family and keeping things running on the home front. She was busy with many activities that involved the children and family. After retiring, Shirley was the best classroom volunteer for her grandchildren and always made sure there was extra homework assignments completed before the grandchildren could go outside to play. She was known as “The Principal.” Her first priority was to love, spoil and nurture her grandchildren, while caring for her own ailing parents. She did so with unfailing love.

If you called Shirley your friend, you had a compassionate, trustworthy, confidant for life. She considered friendship a privilege. She was humble and simple. She never wanted to be in the spotlight. Her acts of kindness and encouragement to those in need where just between her and the recipient.

Shirley was loved deeply by her husband, Wayne. Their devotion to each other was just as strong the day she passed away as it was when they first met 70 years ago.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Ernest Crawford. She is survived by her husband, J. Wayne Strowd Sr.; her son, John W. Strowd Jr. and wife Tracy; her son, Michael C. Strowd and wife Bonnie; her grandchildren, John W. Strowd III “Trai” and wife Brittany, Faith S. Dennis and husband Patrick, Kennedy H. Strowd and wife Jessica, Olivia M. Strowd, and great-grandchildren, Madelyn, Charlotte, Knox, and Miller.

The family would like to give heartfelt thanks for the devotion of her caregivers, Edith, Mandy and Jean. Their love for Wayne and Shirley is a blessing that has touched her family deeply; Shirley’s family physician Dr. Kylstra and nurse Jessica, and lastly, the compassion and direction of UNC Hospice, especially Shirley’s nurse, Patrick.

A funeral service was held Friday, June 17, 2022, at 11 a.m. at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church with Pastor Dan Robinson and Pastor Wesley Thomas presiding. Following the burial, the family invites everyone to the fellowship building for lunch and fellowship.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given in Shirley’s memory to Mt. Gilead Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 1785 Mt. Gilead Church Road, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312, or UNC Hospice, P.O. Box 1077, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312.

Condolences may be made at

Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to serve the Strowd family.