Shirley Oliver Smith
Shirley Oliver Smith
TYLER — Shirley (“Miss Shirley”) Oliver Smith was called to her heavenly home on Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Tyler, Texas. She was born in Pasadena, California, on July 29, 1929, but grew up in Tyler.
Shirley embraced life with joy and love for family, friends and her Lord. She served with her husband, Fritz Smith, in the music ministry for most of their 60 years of marriage. Before marrying Fritz, Shirley was a majorette at Tyler High School and a cheerleader at Tyler Junior College. She and Fritz went to Baylor University then she accompanied him to Fort Worth where he graduated from Southwestern Theological Seminary. An accomplished pianist, Shirley was always involved in the music programs in the Baptist churches in Lufkin, Jasper, Galena Park, Garland and San Antonio where Fritz served as minister of music. While raising three daughters, she also enjoyed teaching kindergarten, finishing her career with The Stepping Stone in Tyler.
The Smith family moved to Tyler, where Shirley’s parents lived, from San Antonio in 1969 after Fritz was called into full-time evangelism. After Shirley retired from kindergarten teaching, she and Fritz shared their love for people and travel by escorting tours all over the world, as an extension of their ministry.
Shirley and Fritz were honored when the music room at The Brook Hill School (where their daughter, Ginger Bell, has served for 25 years), was named after them in acknowledgment of contributions made on behalf of their music ministry.
Shirley was preceded to heaven by her husband of 60 years, Fritz Smith, and their youngest daughter, Greta. She is survived by daughters Gayla Amerman of Dallas and Ginger Bell of Tyler, as well as her brothers-in-law, Jimmy Smith of Mena, Arkansas, and John Smith (Jean) of Tyler, and their families. Shirley is also survived by a large, extended family of “adopted” loved ones including Brad and Paula Lough and their children, Jordan and Jackson; Rocky and Carrie Gill and their children, Hannah (Josh) Trammel, and Campbell; and Sakhairi Maddox and his son, Kyrie. The family also wishes to acknowledge Shirley’s longtime caregiver, Karen Coble, for over 13 years of loving care.
A private family burial, officiated by Dr. David Dykes, pastor of their long-time church home, Green Acres Baptist Church, will be held on Thursday, May 7, at Memorial Park, directed by Jackson’s Burks Walker Tippit. A celebration of Shirley’s beautiful life will be planned for family and friends at a future date when it is deemed “safe” to hug again!
If desired, memorials may be made to The Brook Hill School Music Department, 1051 North Houston Street, Bullard, Texas 75757. To view online, please go to,

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