BETHESDA, Md. – Shirley Gray Lyles died on October 28, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Shirley is survived by her husband of 62 years, James (Jim) Lyles; sons David (Heidi) and Michael (Jeannie); six grandchildren, Brady, Andrew, Hunter, Hannah, Henry, and Peter; step-grandchildren Daniel and Aaron (deceased) and two great-grandsons, Grayson and Hayden.
Shirley was born in Glover, Vt., to Roland and Virginia (Thompson) Gray. Jim and Shirley married in East Craftsbury, Vt., after a five-year courtship that began when both were sophomores in high school. Shirley had graduated from Champlain College and worked at National Life Insurance Company while Jim completed his studies at Norwich University. In 1964, Jim entered on active duty in the US Army Corps of Engineers. The couple served 24 years beginning with an assignment in Germany and ending with assignment in Washington, D.C.
Shirley fulfilled the obligations of a military wife mentoring and assisting the families of soldiers in Jim’s organizations in addition to volunteering with the Red Cross. She relished learning and practicing military social protocol. On arrival in Washington, she began employment with Foxhall Ob/Gyn as an administrative assistant quickly becoming “the glue” of the practice. She remained with the practice for 15 years until retirement in 2001.
In 1990, the couple moved to The Kenwood Condominium in Bethesda. Shirley quickly became involved in the life of the condominium, most notably serving as the chair of the Floor Captains Committee, serving on the Decoration Committee, and serving a three-year term on the Board of Directors. Shirley was known and admired for her unrelenting service to anyone in need. She was a great hostess providing tasty hors d’oeuvres or elaborate meals garnered through years of collecting recipes while moving about in the service.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, November 2, at Joseph Gawler’s Sons Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. A reception will be held immediately following. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery will be held at a later date. No flowers please. Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, fallenheroesfund.org/.