Shirley Mae Brownlee


The funeral for Shirley Mae Brownlee, 92 will be at 10:00 AM Saturday December 16, 2023 at First Christian Church, Stillwater officiated by Rev. Sondra Ladd. Graveside services will be at 2:00 PM Saturday at Hennessey Cemetery under the direction of Cordry-Gritz Funeral Home, Hennessey. Viewing will be at the funeral home Thursday and Friday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The casket will be open at the church prior to services. The family will receive guests following the graveside services at First Christian Church, Hennessey on Saturday from 2:30 until 3:30 PM.

Shirley was born in Oklahoma City on September 3, 1931 to Irl Russell and Vida Mae Curnutt Doolittle and died Saturday December 9, 2023 at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa.

She lived in Fittstown and attended McLish Public Schools, graduating in 1949. Her basketball team won the State Championship in 1949 over Byng and Coach Bertha Frank Teague. Shirley was invited to join the All-American Red Heads, a traveling women’s basketball team, but declined.

She attended East Central State College in Ada and Oklahoma State University (A & M College), graduating in 1953 with majors in Home Economics and Physical Education and Recreation. She later obtained a Master’s degree in education from Central State College in Edmond.

She married Cecil Edwin Brownlee on December 22, 1953 at Centenary United Methodist Church in Tulsa. 

Shirley taught school in Hennessey from 1966-1984 where she started the girls high school basketball program. Most of these years were spent teaching 6th grade science and social studies and coaching girls and boys 5th and 6th grade basketball teams.

Following Cecil’s retirement in 1992, they moved to Stillwater. She continued her lifelong involvement in their church, First Christian (Disciples of Christ) and volunteered at the Stillwater Hospital. She joined the Golden Girls, a senior basketball team out of Tulsa which qualified for the National Senior Olympics several times. In recent years, she loved helping Brett with morning prep at Cherokee Strip BBQ.

Shirley is survived by her husband Cecil of the home; three children Russell Madison Brownlee and wife Rovay of Wilburton, Sigrid Brownlee Krause and husband Greg of Tonkawa, Brett Lynn Brownlee and wife Erin of Stillwater; six grandchildren Caitlin Brownlee Parker and husband Josh, and their daughter Sadie Parker, Conor Brownlee, Jessica Lynn Brownlee, Barrett Ryan Brownlee, Jace Evan Brownlee, and Cole Edwin Brownlee.  

She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister, Beverly Jean Duncan.

Memorial donations may be made in her name to the First Christian Church of Stillwater with the funeral home serving as custodian of the funds.