Shirley Ann Porter was born in Chicago in the early years of the great depression. Her parents were Glenn Claiborne Porter and Ann Marie Cullinane Porter. The family moved to New Orleans when Shirley was one, looking for a better life. Glenn Porter found employment with The Delta Ship Building Company of New Orleans. He was a pipefitter outfitting ships for war.
The Porter family had another daughter. Her name is Mary Louise, but has always been called June by family. Shirley and June had good memories of the time they spent in New Orleans. Tragically Glenn Porter died in a traffic accident in 1942. The girls were sent to live in Arizona with their grandmother Arie Ann Porter.
Arie Ann Porter saw to it that they attended church, Sunday school, and church camp in the summer. They took piano lessons and became church accompanists. They shared a bicycle and earned money from babysitting. They were Girlscouts.
Merle Metcalf went to Phoenix to visit a friend who was in the navy. He was invited to go to church with his friend. Shirley Porter was the accompanist that day.They were introduced and there was an immediate attraction. A long distance romance began, letters were written and a plan was made. Shirley rode the train to Nebraska and they were married in June of 1948.
They made a home together on the Metcalf Ranch. In the 54 years they lived and worked there, the cattle herd was enlarged and more land was purchased along with a pivot irrigation system.
They raised their children Judy and Tyler who were born in the 1950s. Shirley joined many clubs and social groups from the area. Eastern Star and PEO were her favorites. She read for story hour at the Hay Springs library for more than ten years.
Shirley was also an expert seamstress. She made clothing, halloween costumes, and quilted wall hangings. In retirements Merle and Shirley lived in Rushville and in Chadron wintering in Arizona. After Merle’s death Shirley lived in Rushville Briefly and spent her last six years in Pioneer Manor. She passed away August 22nd 2023. Another member of ‘The Greatest Generation’ is gone.
Shirley is survived by her sister June Boone of Fresno California, her daughter Judy Standley of Clarks Summit, her son Tyler Metcalf and his wife Pama of Hay Springs, and Nephew Calvin Metcalf and wife Rhonda of Alliance Nebraska. Three grandchildren Laura Standley of Erie Pennsylvania, Nathan Standley of Clarks Summit Pennsylvania, and Michaela Metcalf of Hay Springs Nebraska. One great grandchild Emma Standley of Clarks Summit Pennsylvania.
She was preceded in death by her husband Merle Metcalf, son in law James L. Standley III, brother Neamon Metcalf and wife Mary Rose Metcalf and their son John Metcalf.