Shirley Marie Collier Stephens was born on March 10, 1942 and departed this life on January 25, 2021 at the age of 78. Preceded in death by parents, Milton Collier, Sr. and Daisy Casey Collier; and brothers, Norman L. Collier and Milton C. Collier, Jr.
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Shirley received her early Christian education at Union African Methodist Episcopal Church, and was an honor student who graduated in 1960 from Horace Mann High School. After graduation, Shirley attended the University of Arkansas, but left to join the U.S. Navy where she studied to become a dental technician. Upon completion of her tour of duty, she was honorably discharged and moved to Nashville, TN and enrolled in Tennessee State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Shirley continued her studies at the University Of Tennessee Graduate School Of Social Work earning a Master’s of Science degree in Social Work, and later became a licensed certified social worker completing her internship at the VA hospital in Nashville, TN.
Shirley began her Richland Village employment in 1971 as a Family Counselor. Shirley’s skills as an accomplished Social Work professional led to her teaching at the University of North Carolina and became a consultant and trainer for undergraduate Social Workers. Then Shirley was promoted to Richland Village as a Social Work Supervisor; and also supervised and trained Social Work Interns from Tennessee State, Trevecca Nazarene, Belmont Universities, and the University of Tennessee. She served as a Consultant and Presenter for the Annual Tennessee Conference on Social Work Nashville, TN. She was promoted to Assistant Director Richland Village and later served as its Interim Director. Shortly thereafter, she transferred to Metro Social Services-Homemaker Services Division as Program Manager and stayed in this position until her retirement.
Shirley was a kind and loyal daughter, sister and aunt. She was also a loyal friend to those in need of caring, respect, and support. She loved laughter, dancing, reading, and was truly a great conversationalist telling stories which taught lessons in living. Witty and intelligent, she sensitively served the needs of the handicapped, the hungry, and the underprivileged of her Nashville community. Her neighbors dubbed her the “Mayor of Lookout Drive”.
She leaves to cherish her memory: a devoted sister, Ms. Yvonne Collier Alexander of Little Rock, AR; nephew, Milton Jon Collier and wife, Tori of Norman, OK; one sister-in-law, Mrs. Jonnie W. Collier of Little Rock, AR; two great nephews, Bryce E. Collier and Cannon Collier; and one great niece, Bailey E. Collier all of Norman, OK; a godson, Henry Thomas II of Lexington, KY; special friends, Charlotte Thomas West and Tarva and Thelma Smith of Nashville, TN; and a host of cousins and friends.
Walk Through of Friends will be held Sunday, January 31, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors.