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Shirley Mae Wasserbeck Ellis, 84, of Oklahoma City, passed away February 16, 2020. She was born on August 12, 1935 in Chickasha, Oklahoma to Oscar and Mattie Wasserbeck.
Shirley attended school in the Oklahoma City area, graduating from Britton Elementary, John Marshall and Central State University. While in school she held many elected positions in social clubs and organizations. Shirley was an avid and accomplished tennis player while in college, was on two NAIA national championship teams and she played tennis for many years thereafter in various country clubs and tennis club leagues in Oklahoma City and beyond.
Shirley married Stephen Wayne Ellis in 1954 and they had two children, DeeAnn Ellis of Edmond, OK and Greg Ellis, of Oklahoma City. Shirley and Steve were married until Steve’s passing in 1998.
Shirley worked in the publishing field early in her career and was a national and international consultant for a large company in New York City, eventually transitioning into the foreign study division. While on the publishing side of the business she was elected the first female president of the Oklahoma Bookman’s Assoc. The foreign study assignments took her to London, England on a regular basis, as she worked with the University of London planning foreign study programs for the European continent. One of the highlights of her work career was the three months that she and Stephen spent in Russia in 1976, while she was affiliated with a Foreign Study program sponsored by the United Nations. Health problems resulted in early retirement.
Shirley enjoyed volunteer work, international travel, time spent with her large circle of friends, OU football and basketball games and she rarely missed an OKC Thunder game.
A memorial service will be held in the Abbey Mausoleum Chapel at Rose Hill Burial Park, 6001 N.W. Grand Blvd. in OKC, on Friday, February 28 at 3:00 pm. Interment to follow at gravesite. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to OK Humane Society in OKC, WildCare in Noble or Positive Tomorrow’s in OKC.