Shirley Ritter Carle died in Springfield, Mo., with loved ones at her bedside on March 23. She was 78.
Shirley was born in Many, La., on May 22, 1940, and was the second of five children of James Carlyle and Katherine Steele Ritter. She graduated from Many High School and received her B.A. in history with a minor in English from The University of Texas at Austin.
While at The University of Texas, Shirley met and married Thomas G. Sharpe, Jr. They moved to Brownsville, Texas, following his graduation from law school, where she taught at Cummings Middle School until they began their family.
Together they had three sons, John Carlyle Sharpe, Thomas Steele Sharpe, and James Gilbert Sharpe, in Brownsville, Texas. She was a member of numerous clubs and organizations including the Junior League of Brownsville, Daughters of the American Revolution, and P.E.O.
She dedicated her life to being the consummate mother, homemaker, and socialite wife to a successful attorney, and her pride and joy was her sons. She drove and traveled with her sons to countless piano lessons and concerts, golf tournaments, and bicycle races.
She was preceded in death by Thomas Sharpe, to whom she was married for 36 years. After living in Texas for 39 years, she retired to Colorado, where she had spent nearly every summer since the mid-70s. There, she met Wayne Carle, and they married in 2002.
While living in Gunnison, Colo., she continued to be the quintessential hostess, throwing dinner parties and musical soirees. Eventually, she and Wayne moved to Springfield, Mo., in 2008, but she continued to visit Colorado every summer that she was able.
Shirley Carle was preceded in death by her parents James Carlyle and Katherine Steele Ritter. She is survived by her husband, Wayne M. Carle of Springfield, Mo.; three sons: John Carlyle Sharpe (and husband, Stephen Bomgardner) of Springfield, Mo.; Thomas Steele Sharpe (and wife, Aunicia Bergeron) of Springfield, Mo.; and James Gilbert Sharpe (and wife, Liz Whitfield) of Broomfield, Colo.; granddaughter, Palmer Whitfield Sharpe of Broomfield, Colo.; her brother, John Steele Ritter of Claremont, Calif.; her sisters: Jane Fay Ritter of Nacogdoches, Texas; Carole Patrick of Farwell, Texas; Katherine Iverson of Ashland, Ore.; and longtime family member, Maria Guadalupe of Brownsville, Texas.
A graveside service was held on March 30 in Shirley’s beloved Gunnison, Colo. A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield, Mo., on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at 10 a.m.