Shirley Stratton Breazeale
10-28-1929 — 7-14-2019
A celebration of life service will be held Wednesday, July 17 at 7:00 pm in honor of Shirley Stratton Breazeale at 4617 Southwest 16th Street.
Shirley was the oldest of four girls and two boys born to Edward Luther and Annie Cumi Stratton. She was born in Memphis, Texas, but the family moved to Amarillo when she was an infant. She attended Buchanan Street School (Horace Mann) first through eighth grades. She then attended Amarillo High School. Shirley fondly remembered her neighborhood and school friends she grew up with in the 30s and 40s and all of her dear friends and extended family through the years. Shirley married Welcome E. Breazeale in 1946. They were married 43 years, until his death in 1989.
Shirley started working at her father’s restaurants as a young teenager, which began her lifelong career as a waitress. She loved her vocation. She worked for 22 years at the restaurant on Amarillo Blvd and Fillmore, which was first Denny’s, and then the name changed to Robyn’s. When the restaurant closed, she worked at Cattleman’s Cafe on old Route 66 for 12 years, until her retirement.
Shirley loved to work word puzzles of all kinds, and she could always be seen reading the newspaper. She was always curious, so she kept maps, dictionaries, atlases, and encyclopedias nearby, in case there was information she wanted to know or impart. One of her favorite possessions was her 1972 set of encyclopedias, which answered many questions throughout the years. In the past few years, she discovered “Hey Google,” which became her new source of information and music.
Shirley felt honored to be from Amarillo and never wanted to live anywhere else. It was her much-loved home. She loved Amarillo people, Amarillo history, and old Amarillo buildings. In her later years, a perfect outing was riding up and down Polk Street, looking at the downtown buildings, lamenting the changes, and recalling the places she worked and shopped, the fun she had, and the people she knew and loved. We can never forget that the Santa Fe building is the same age as she was, built in 1929, or that her father watched the building as it was constructed from the ground up. Seeing the Santa Fe building was a reminder of her father and other cherished family. A thoughtful, loving gift to give her was a book on Amarillo history, pictures of old Amarillo, or simply a fond conversation about Amarillo!
Her children and grandchildren were everything to her, and she spent her life serving them. She always encouraged them to be honest, hard working, and to learn as much as they could. She loved it when her kids and grand kids furthered their education in any way. She was extremely proud of each grandchild, great grandchild, and great-great grand babies. As her six grandchildren were growing up, she was very involved in their lives. Once, upon discovering a broken toy, pre-school Cheri said, “It’s OK, Grandma will buy me another one.” (Cheri knew her Grandma’s heart at a young age!) Grandma bought a color TV for Skeeter and family…because she wanted to be sure that young Scott could see The Incredible Hulk turn green! When Markus was in high school, she shared her car with him. Cara remembers many a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch that Grandma would make in a special/specific way just for her. Aaron had a very special one-on-one relationship with Grandma, and she was one of his favorite people.
Grandma took preschool Brady on walks to the convenience store for the daily newspaper and treats…and she added lots of whimsy to his life. She took it upon herself to help with her grandchildren’s school lunch money, using her daily tips. She loved school supply season. She would buy reams and reams of paper, stacks and stacks of spirals, and a year’s supply of pencils, pens, and markers. Her grandkids had a personal school supply stash, right on Grandma’s shelf. Her two daughters always knew that their mom made their world a better place to be.
She watched the horse races with Craig every spring for many years, and never doubted that he would be there to watch with her. Her love of horse racing was matched by her love of having visitors to watch them with her. She enjoyed the cards and mailings that Effie and kids sent her.
She was proud of all her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and even her great-great grandchildren. She loved visits. Family reunions are the balm of old age. She loved you all dearly, and every single visit was cherished.
Her family would like to thank Accolade Home Care for the care and friendship they graced Shirley with the past few years.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, W.E., her beloved daughter Margarette Ann Giles (Skeeter), one brother, Les Stratton, three sisters, Wanda Lou Frazier, Peggy Zoe Esh and Belva Jane Stratton (Cookie), and a great-granddaughter, Kyley Kay Alexander.
She is survived by a daughter Kay Crandall and brother Howard Stratton (Doc); six grandchildren: Cheri Griffin (Michele), Scott Giles and wife Stacey, Markus Crandall, Cara Poquette and husband Craig, Aaron Crandall, and Brady Crandall and wife Effie; eleven great-grandchildren: Micaela Griffin, Lauren Paris, and husband Creed, Gentry Giles and wife Shelby, Maddie Crandall, Macey Crandall, Cadyn Poquette Alexander, Emma Crandall, Violette Crandall, Theodore Crandall, Harper Crandall, Amelia Crandall; and four great-great grandchildren: Abel Paris, Haddon Paris, Brooklyn Paris, and Korah Griffing.
Everyone needs someone who is always glad to see you come…and always sad to you go. For many of us that was our friend Shirley, our mom, and our grandma. We will miss her beyond what words can express.