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Shirley Ann (Campbell) Yarbrough

March 21, 1935 ~ July 7, 2018 (age 83)

Shirley Campbell Yarbrough, 83, passed away Saturday, July 7, 2018 at Autumn Care of Statesville.

Her passing, to echo the words of her husband Dr. Ed “Buddy” Yarbrough, represents an interruption in one of the greatest love stories of all time.

Shirley and Ed met in 1951 during high school in Clinton, South Carolina, where the tea is sweet and the ‘t’ is silent. Shirley was also sweet, but rarely silent.

The pair wed just a year later and for the next 66 years only spent time apart when Ed’s work in the military and, later, as a minister required so.

Throughout her life, Shirley served as a shining example of how a wife should love her husband, how a mother should love her children, how a grandmother should love her grandchildren, and so on.

But her love extended far beyond the reaches of her familial ties. A visit to Shirley’s house was sure to see you leaving with enough food for a small army, some homemade mints, and – if you said you liked it – often one of her prized decorations or two.

As a dedicated pastor’s wife, Shirley’s love of her husband was topped only by her adoration of and service for the Lord. She served as minister of music in churches throughout North Carolina for many years. In later life, she served on the Welcoming Committee of Western Avenue Baptist Church.

When not serving in her church, Shirley could be found keeping an impossibly spotless house, perfecting recipes, sewing, and crafting pine furniture with Ed until she suffered a stroke in 2011.

Following her stroke, Shirley battled long and hard with Lewy body dementia, but kept her sweet smile and sense of humor as long as she was able.

She is proceeded in death by her parents LeRoy Campbell and Hallie Wofford Campbell, sisters Cleo, Miriam, Nellie Ruth and Corrine and her brother Lee Roy, “L.R.”

Shirley leaves behind her husband, Ed Yarbrough, children Tim and Kathy Yarbrough, Ken and Glendora Yarbrough, Terri and Neal Bias and Phyllis Yarbrough, nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren with one on the way.

A celebration of her life will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15 at Western Avenue Baptist Church, 1206 Museum Road in Statesville. Visitation will be from 2 pm until 3 pm at the church.  A private burial will be at a later date. 

Online condolences can be made to the family at and Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family.


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