Shirley allen Williamson was born Manilla, Philippine Islands on February 25, 1925, and passed away peacefully in Elk Grove, CA, after a year of declining health on September 7, 2019. She lived in the Philippines until ten years old with her mother Elizabeth Lantz Allen and father Lt. Colonel Henderson Wilcox Allen (U.S Army). During that time, she traveled with her parents to China, Japan, and throughout the islands. In 1935, Shirley and her mother moved to San Francisco and shortly thereafter to San Diego. She graduated from Hoover High School in San Diego in 1942 and was enrolled at the University of Minnesota. She returned to San Diego after being informed that her father died as a P.O.W. She worked to support herself and her mother by undertaking various military supporting jobs during the War and afterward began a career as an executive assistant at the San Diego Club.
Shirley married Lt. Jg. Robert Williamson II (USN) on April 6, 1948, and began her journey as the wife of a career Naval Officer. Over the years, their family grew in number with the addition of three sons (Bob, Dana, and Bruce). Every two of three years, she would move her family to a new base or City as her husband advanced in rank and responsibility. Her Journeys included Washington D.C, Norfolk VA, Bethlehem PA, Newport RI, San Francisco, Honolulu, China Lake CA, and San Diego, Coronado. While raising her sons, she also volunteered as a nurse’s aide. After 30 years of Naval service, they retired to Coronado. She enjoyed being a grandmother to her grandchildren, and grandaunt to the children of her brother Lee Allen of Provo, UT.
Shirley and Robert were inseparable, and as empty nesters, they traveled to Europe, Asia, South Pacific, and the Middle East. They attended St. George’s College in Jerusalem and participated in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego with Shirley serving for a time as the head of the Episcopal Women’s Council. She also loved and supported the San Diego Opera.
Shirley moved to the Casa de Manana retirement community in La Jolla and made many new friends. Eventually, she moved to retirement communities in Northern California to be closer to her sons and again to make new friends. She continued to travel the world on cruise ships visiting Mexico, Central America, England, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, and the Black Sea region.
She was predeceased by her husband and brother, and is survived by her three sons, and daughters-in-law; Bob & Karen, Dana & Kathy, and Bruce and Mary; and her eight grandchildren, Heather, Glenn, James, Jeffery, Reilly, Mary Kate, Shelia, and Grace.
Shirley will join her husband at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery overlooking San Diego Bay. A small family memorial is planned at the cemetery on October 8 at 1:30pm. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your local faith-based charity.
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