Obituaries & Tributes

James ”Bus” G. Shirley Feb. 11, 1928 – Oct. 19, 2019

James Gordon Shirley, best known as Bus, was an honorable man who lived his life with high character. His long and well-lived journey on earth ended on the evening of Oct. 19, 2019 in Gresham, Oregon, due the effects of dementia.
The youngest of three, Bus was born to parents, James (Ed) Edgar Shirley and Henrietta Egretta (Redhead) Shirley on Feb. 11, 1928 in Sutherlin, Oregon on the family homestead. Sisters were Marie Louise Haines and Jean Carmen Rowntree. Throughout their childhood and adult lives, Bus and Jean shared a closeness that brought them much joy and comfort.
As a child, and after his father’s heart attack, the family moved to Drain, Oregon. Bus graduated from Drain Union High in 1947.
While in high school he fell in love with and dated Margaret (Jo) Joanne Roach. They married on Oct. 22, 1949 and remained in Drain until Bus’ enlistment into the Air Force in 1951. After four years, he was honorably discharged as a crew chief for a midair fighter jet refueling squadron and at the rank of sergeant.
Bus and Jo’s only child, Thomas Gordon Shirley, was born in 1954 in Merced, California. In 1955, and after his discharge, Bus, Jo and Tommy moved back to Drain, where Bus remained until 2016. His last move was to a memory care facility in Gresham, near Tom and his family.
Upon Bus and Jo’s return to Drain, he began his work life as a successful business owner, first by purchasing the Mobile Gas Station, then the Union Oil Gas Station and finally the Union Oil Bulk Plant.
Jo died of ovarian cancer in 1977. In 1982, Bus married Mary O’Brien who earned the title of the second love of his life. Many times, Bus voiced how blessed he felt to have married two wonderful women. Mary died of dementia in 2015.
Also preceding Bus in death were his parents; sister Marie Haines; sisters-in-law Arlene Ogelsby and Rozelle Vogler; brothers-in-law Bob Thomas, Milo Haines and Monte Rowntree; niece Terry (Thomas) Bennett; and grandson Ian Guinto.
Surviving him are his son, Tom Shirley and wife Debbie Oleachea-Shirley, of Fairview, Oregon; stepson William Haroun and wife Nadia, of Ontario, Canada; stepdaughters Marci Fairchild, Genene Johnson and wife Edie Jacobsen, of San Diego; grandchildren Jasmin (Shirley) Wright, husband Chris and their children, Logan and Josie; and Justin Shirley, wife Stacey Foreman Shirley and their children, Skylar and Jackson, all of Troutdale, Oregon, Lindsay Guinto of San Diego, and Alex Haroun and Catherine Haroun, of Ontario, Canada; nephews Rick Haines of Vancouver, BC, and Gordon Rowntree of Yuma City, California; and niece Darla Abbott of Sparks, Nevada.
Bus was well-known as a man of great integrity and with a much-admired work ethic. As a caring person he would help anyone and everyone, not just in time of need, but simply to be able to help. And the jokes … he always had one, along with a good story.
His legacy will live on through Tom, Jasmin, Justin and his great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2019, at Smith Lund Mills Funeral Chapel, 123 S. 7th St, Cottage Grove.



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