John Frank Shirreffs was born in Elberton, Georgia on October 26, 1924. He passed away on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at age 86.
General Shirreffs was a 1942 graduate of Elberton High School. He was drafted and served in the 163rd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Division where he fought in the South Pacific. He was part of the initial occupation force in Japan where he was stationed outside of Hiroshima. After the war’s end, he went on to have a military career that spanned over forty years with the Georgia Army National Guard, U.S. Army and Army Reserves. His career culminated with him being the Chief of Staff of the Georgia Army National Guard when he retired in April of 1984. He was awarded the Georgia Distinctive Service Medal which is the highest honor the Georgia National Guard can bestow. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General on April 24, 1984. His other military awards include the Combat Infantry Badge, The Bronze Star, The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Georgia Meritorious Service Medal.
General Shirreffs was an active member of Crossroads United Methodist Church and an active member of his community where he was both well-known and well liked. He was selected by the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners to serve as a volunteer member of the Rockdale County Watershed Assessment and Management Plan Stakeholders Committee.
He was an avid and extraordinarily skilled woodworker enjoying building and crafting with wood throughout his whole life building everything from Christmas tree ornaments to his own inboard motor boat and everything in between. It is fair to say that he gave thousands of Easter trinkets and Christmas tree ornaments to many classes of school children over the years. In addition to woodworking he loved tinkering with computers and during his years in the National Guard he was instrumental in helping design and implement one of the first word processing systems for the Georgia Army National Guard.
His favorite saying was “Have Fun Every Chance You Get!” and his quick wit and friendliness offered a warm welcome to all.
He is preceded in death by his son, Jeffery Ford Shirreffs of Elberton, Georgia and his sister, Mary Francis Sain and his brother-in-law, Arthur Sain of Elberton, Georgia and his brother-in-law, Carrol Linn of North Charleston, South Carolina. He is survived by his beloved wife of almost 59 years, Louise Shirreffs, daughter, Jane Shirreffs of Statesboro, Georgia and son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Robin Shirreffs of Duluth, MN, two grandchildren, Joshua and Hannah, and two brothers, Donald Shirreffs and his wife, Nancy of Milledgeville, Georgia, James Shirreffs and his wife, Peggy of Connelly Springs, North Carolina and three sisters, Susie Cooley and her husband, Larry of Temple, Georgia, Peggy Linn of North Charleston, South Carolina and Jean Spangenberg and her husband, Sam of Whittier, North Carolina.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, April 11, 2011, 2pm at the Crossroads United Methodist Church, 2460 Hwy 138, Conyers, Georgia 30013. The family will receive friends on Sunday, April 10, 2011 from 3pm to 6pm at Scot Ward Funeral Services at Green Meadow Memorial Gardens, 699 American Legion Road, Conyers, Georgia 30012. There will be a graveside service at Elmhurst Cemetery, 400 North Oliver Street in Elberton, Georgia, Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 1pm.
The Family has chosen Crossroads United Methodist Church, 2460 Hwy 138, Conyers, Georgia 30013, At Home Hospice, 1374 Manchester Drive, Conyers, Georgia 30012 and the Rock Gym at 45 Forest Avenue, Elberton, Georgia 30635 as opportunities for memorial contributions.
Condolences may be submitted on-line at www.scotward.com. Scot Ward Funeral Services at Green Meadow Memorial Gardens, 699 American Legion Road, Conyers, GA 30012, 770-483-7216.