Shirley Ann (Adams) MacNealy, 86, has gone to be with the Lord and her husband, who preceded her in death 16 days earlier.

Shirley was born January 4, 1931 in Ashland Wisconsin and died November 22, 2017in Madison, Mississippi.As a young girl, Shirley was raised mostlyon her family’s farm south of Sault Ste Marie, MI. Shebegan her education in a one-room school and eventually graduated from Pickford High School. She went on to Northern Michigan University where she earned her degree in education, her life-long passion. While at Northern, she met and fell in love with Richard Kenneth (Dick) MacNealy, a WWII combat veteran and theymarried in 1952.Dick was also an educator,and after their marriage, theytaught at schools in Bellevue, OH and then in Cheboygan, MI, where their two oldest sons were born. In 1960, they accepted positions withthe Department of Defense School System in Japan where Shirley’s youngest son was born.

In 1962, Shirley and Dick accepted education related positions in Mississippi and moved to Natchez Trace Village in Madison. Shirley loved educating children and wanted to improve the local school system, so she ran for Superintendent of Schools in Madison County.

Although she was not elected, it fueled her desire to help children, so she became a school Principal. In 1977 she was elected as President of the Mississippi Elementary Schools Association, a position which offered her the opportunity to travel throughout the state and country to learn about the best education practices.During this time, she earned her Master’s Degree and Specialist certificate.

Her efforts to achieve excellence in educationearned national recognition when the US Department of Education selected her school, Van Winkle Elementary School in Jackson, MS, as the only elementary or middle school in Mississippi during the 1987-1988 school year to be a “Model of Excellence”. As a result, she was recognized by the Governor and Legislature of Mississippi and was honored during ceremonies in Washington, DC where she received the award from Secretary of Education Bill Bennett and met President Ronald Reagan.

In 1989, Shirley and Dick retired and moved to Bradenton, FL, and in 2005 to Brandon, MS. Shirley and Richard, her husband of 65 years, spent many years traveling around the US in their motor home. They enjoyed square and round dancing wherever they travelled, and they especially enjoyed the summers they spent with Shirley’s sisters and brother-in-law, Betty Lipsett and Marilyn and Chuck Crawford, all of Cedarville, MI.

Shirley was member of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Brandon, MS. She is preceded in death by her parents, dredge Captain George Ernest Edward Adams and MerettaMargaret (Lackey) Adamsand the love of her life, Richard who died on November 6th, 2017. Shirley is survived by her three sons, all retired Army pilots and their spouses: Colonel Richard (Rem) MacNealy and Ginger of Huntsville, AL; Colonel Bradly MacNealy and Duncan of Inverness, MS; and Brigadier General Kelly MacNealy and Libby of Madison, MS. She is also survived by her grandchildren Sergeant First Class Bradly Jr. and his wife Leah of Inverness, MS; Brittany and her husband Robert Gonzales of St John, US Virgin Islands; Rachel Wesson and her husband Taylor, DC of Huntsville, AL; and Nathan of Madison, MS. Shirley was also able to see her two great grandchildren before she passed, Haddie Mac Wesson and Robert J. Gonzaleslll.

Mrs. MacNealywill be interredtogether with her husbandduring a commitment ceremony at Oaklawn Chapel Gardens Cemetery, Sault Sainte Marie, MI near the farm where she grew up on Sunday, December 3rd.In lieu of flowers, Shirley’s family requests donations be made to Alzheimer’s Mississippi, 855 S. Pear Orchard Road, Suite 501, Ridgeland, MS 39157.