Stillwater News Press


July 24, 2013

Shirley Elizabeth (Powers) Lewis

Shirley Elizabeth (Powers) Lewis, 61, of Stillwater passed away Monday, July 22, 2013 at Integris Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City. Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Friday at Palmer Marler Funeral Home Chapel in Stillwater. Arrangements are under the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home.

Shirley Elizabeth (Powers) Lewis was born in Oakland, Calif., May 3, 1952, to Buford and Beanna Powers. She was the third of five children born to these loving and adoring parents. Shirley accepted the Lord Jesus, early in life at the age of 9 years old and was baptized at the progressive Missionary Baptist Church in Berkeley, Calif. She later converted to Catholicism.

Shirley was educated in the Oakland Unified School District, where she excelled in every subject. Due to her love of learning and excellent study habits she was skipped twice, making it possible for her to graduate from Oakland Technical High School at the age of 16. Upon graduating high school, she received a four-year scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley. She received her bachelor’s degree while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. She went on to receive her teaching credential and began her career as an educator at Horace Mann Elementary School in Oakland. Later, Shirley also received a master’s degree/administrative credential from Mills College in Oakland, Calif.

Shirley married her childhood sweetheart and love of her life, Anthony Lewis, on Feb. 16, 1974. Later, they began raising their family of three sons: Anthony Jr., Hayes, and Kenneth and one daughter Anthea. Some years into their marriage, Anthony accepted the position as English professor and basketball coach at Langston University in Langston. The family relocated and resumed life as usual. Upon arriving in Stillwater, Shirley continued teaching and eventually became an elementary school principal.

Shirley received many awards and accolades including Administrator of the Year for 1995-96, while living in the Stillwater community. She retired from the Stillwater School System in 2008.

Shirley dedicated her life to family and her career choice. Her commitment to children came easy. She loved being an educator for over 40 years. One of her greatest experiences was witnessing the joy on the faces of her many students as she imparted her tremendous gift of teaching upon them. To further demonstrate her spirit of giving, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which allowed her to serve in many other ways. She was proud to be a member of the sorority.

Shirley’s intellect and moral responsibility were evident in every aspect of her life. She had the most passionate, loyal, and kind spirit. Everyone who came to know Shirley was better for the experience. That's just how she was!

Her smile was contagious, and you just wanted to smile right along with her.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Buford and Beanna Powers, Her husband Anthony Lewis, her brother, Paul Edward Powers and brother-in-law James Donald Jacobs.

She leaves to cherish her memory, her children, Anthony Jr., Hayes, Kenneth, and Anthea; her grandchildren whom she adored, Alexys, Anthony III. Hayes IV, Cali, Kenneth III, Aryanna, Antoine, and Preston; siblings, Buford Powers Jr. , Mary Pat Jacobs, Diane Powers, nieces, nephews, and a host of other loving family and friends.

Shirley Elizabeth (Powers) Lewis will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers the family requests for memorial contributions be made to St. Johns Catholic Church or Birth Choice of Oklahoma, c/o Palmer Marler Funeral Home, 5106 N. Washington, Stillwater, OK 74075.

Condolences may be sent to the family via our website at or on facebook at


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