Shirley E. Presley

Shirley E. PresleyShirley Ellen Taylor Presley took her ascent to Heaven on March 27, 2019, at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.

Born on March 30, 1932, in Plainfield, N.J., Shirley was the eldest of three children in her household. She lived in New Jersey all of her childhood and early adulthood. Shirley graduated from Plainfield High School in 1951. At age 23, she met the charming and handsome Robert Presley of Piscataway, N.J., and the two were married in 1955. The next year Shirley and Robert were blessed with one daughter, Sarelle Anne. On Sarelle’s first birthday Dec. 6, 1957, the family arrived in Los Angeles to live with Shirley’s parents until they could establish their own residence.

Shirley worked as a housekeeper and cook for many famous people. After years of that hard work, Shirley decided to go back to school for an accounting degree. In 1967 she was hired by UCLA as accounting auditor for the travel department. If professors wanted to be paid or needed money, they had to go through Shirley. She was a detail person; nothing got by her any day or time. Even during her last hours, she spoke about fond memories. After 25 years of service to UCLA, Shirley retired and joined her mother Gabrelle and daughter Sarelle in Ridgecrest to be closer to her family.

Shirley could not stay retired. She was not one to stay still or stay at home. She worked part time for Sierra Sands Unified School District as a playground attendant for several years, monitoring children during lunchtime. Shirley especially enjoyed working with Ron Carter, who was the principal at Las Flores School. She also worked as a caregiver for a couple of families. Shirley acquired many nicknames over the years, such as Miss Bloom, given by her father, Sister Hollywood given by Rev. Douglas Hearn, and the most notable of all Mom Presley. All of these names fit her well.

Shirley found Jesus at an early age. She was baptized on Oct. 6, 1985. In March 1988 she completed the new members class at Lakeview Terrace Baptist Church in Sylmar under the leadership of Rev. Alton Rozar. Once Shirley made permanent residence in Ridgecrest, she joined Union Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Hearn. Later she became an active member of Victory Baptist Church, where Rev. E. Benjamin Thomas is the pastor. She worked as his cupbearer for several years, assisting where needed in preparation for Sunday morning service. Shirley always had a word from the Lord and shared that with whomever came her way. She helped outside the church as well ,serving on the family selection committee for Habitat for Humanity for about four years. During that time, she made many new friends.

Shirley enjoyed life to the fullest, took trips around the world and cruised the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. She loved to talk and would be on the phone for hours, or if you visited her, that five-minute visit would turn into a 55-minute visit. As for the younger generation, she would always find an encouraging word. Shirley loved her family, took care of others and helped those in need. Whether it be a Bible scripture, a good home- cooked meal, or a slip of $20 that she reminded you to “keep to yo’self,” she never failed to help. She would often say, “God called me to help, so I help.”

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Gerald Taylor Sr. and Gabrelle Taylor; husband, Robert Presley; and brother Gerald Taylor Jr.

Shirley is survived by her youngest brother Paul Taylor of Atlanta, Ga.; her only child, Sarelle Eddins and son-in-law, Darrell Eddins Sr. both of Ridgecrest; grandchildren, Darrell Eddins Jr. (Barbara) of Ridgecrest and Sherrina Clark (Brett) of Bakersfield; six great-grandchildren, Destanee Eddins and Aryanna Eddins of Ridgecrest and Jason Clark, Sharley Clark, Brylee Clark and Jerrina Clark, all of Bakersfield; and a host of other loving family and friends.

— Submitted by the family of Shirley Presley

Story First Published: 2019-04-12