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September 14, 1935 - February 13, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY A unique sparkle has been dimmed with the passing of Shirley Deak Ford, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. Following a long illness, Shirley died peacefully with her daughter, Stacey, at her side. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 14, 1935, to Mike and Helen Corba Deak, Shirley grew up in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Carnegie High School. Following the family's relocation to McAlester, Oklahoma, in 1951, Shirley attended Tulsa Business School and subsequently went to work for Skelly Oil Company. Shirley married C. Richard (Dick) Ford on November 22, 1963. During their thirty-one year marriage, Shirley and Dick were members of the All Souls' Episcopal Church and shared a love of OU football, international travel and the Republican Party. It was through Dick's involvement with the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce that Shirley found her passion for the arts, particularly Allied Arts and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The couple were founders of the Allied Arts Annual Golf Tournament and acted as hosts for Circle Club events over the years. As both a Board member and generous donor, Shirley played an integral role in construction of the Museum. In 2003, she was named a Lifetime Trustee and later honored as a Trustee Emeritus in 2012 for her long-term support and distinguished service to the Museum. Shirley's family was the center of her life, as demonstrated through the love and care she provided to both her husband and mother during their respective illnesses. Her generosity extended to her grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Shirley enjoyed life to the fullest, as exemplified by her infectious, electric laugh, and wonderful sense of humor. Although she appeared to have an armor of steel, her family and friends knew the depth of her compassion for others. Shirley is survived by her daughter, Stacey Ford-Stiglets (Eric), and their children, Eloise, Ford, and Keaton, of Oklahoma City, OK; a brother, Michael (Linda) Deak, West Chester, PA, and their children, Diane Deak, Cheryl Stephen) Furlong, and Stephanie (John) McCullough; a sister-in-law, Rose Deak, of Lodi, CA, and her children, Mark (Lucy) Deak and Renate (Ron) Freitas; stepsons, Michael K. Ford (Chiang Mai, Thailand) and Jeffrey C. (Pegi) Ford, Charlotte, NC, and their children, Bryan, Paul, Sabian, Brianna, Nikki, and Jamie. She was preceded in death by her husband, C. Richard Ford; parents, Mike and Helen Corba Deak; and brother, Ronald Deak. A private interment will be at Rose Hill Burial Park. A Memorial Service will be held 11 a.m. Monday, February 18th at All Souls' Episcopal Church. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Shirley's life following the Memorial Service at Deep Fork Grill. Special thanks to Dr. Nathan Valentine, Brenda Kincannon, Brenda Smith, and Javon Herbert for their compassion and caring over the years. Given Shirley's love of all things beautiful, the family requests that donations be made to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr, OKC, OK 73102, or through their website: http://www.okcmoa.com/support/memorial-gifts http//www.okcmoa.com/support/memorial-gifts
Published in The Oklahoman from Feb. 16 to Feb. 17, 2013
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