On March 5, Shirley Cline Flora, 87, faded from this world with a gentle smile on her face. She was surrounded by family and friends. Shirley was a cherished mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, and was beloved by her many friends.
She began her life’s journey on October 13, 1932; born to Reva Mays and Harry Cline in Martinsville, Virginia. It was there the high school cheerleader and homecoming queen met and married her true love, Curtis “Bud” Flora. These “soul mates” remained together for 58 years.
After retiring from Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, Shirley and Bud moved to Opelika in 1991. Shirley immediately immersed herself in community activities. She loved supporting her church’s youth, serving as substitute teacher, attending Opelika Arts Association and Auburn University theatrical productions, cheering on her Auburn Tigers, volunteering for various civic projects, and avidly competing at Bridge Club. Shirley was perhaps best known as the first Executive Director of Keep Opelika Beautiful. Through her weekly newspaper column, and with her energetic volunteers, she endeavored to create an appreciation of our environment and in the process, helped Opelika grow even more “beautiful”. She was delighted when school children nicknamed her “Mrs. Flowers” and “The Garbage Lady”. Shirley was very proud of the achievements and progress the community partnerships accomplished during her tenure.
Deep appreciation and gratitude are extended to: her church family, for sustaining her through visits, flowers, and prayers; her neighbors and dear friends, who watched over her; Home Instead caregivers, who provided companionship and transportation; the loving and loyal staff at Arbor Springs, who kept her manicures fresh and spoiled her with unlimited Dr. Peppers and Hershey Kisses; and finally, Compassus Hospice, for their attentive devotion in her final weeks.
Shirley is survived by her sister, Linda Holden (Doug), Moss Point, MS; her sister-in-law, Linda Flora Smith, Blacksburg, VA; her son, Michael Flora (Carla), Mt. Airy, MD; her daughter, Cindy Mirarchi (Ralph), Waverly, AL; four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bud Flora; grandson, Bryson Flora; and nephew, Charlie Sweet.
Visitation will be at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home on Thursday, March 19th, from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Interment will take place at Roselawn Cemetery, Martinsville, Virginia at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Shirley’s name to Keep Opelika Beautiful, Lee County Food Bank, Alabama Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, or other charities.