Black, Shirley

Shirley Elaine Black
1925 – 2016
Shirley Black was born on November 10, 1925 to William H. and Alma Orwig in Wilmington, California where she grew up. She went to Banning High School in Wilmington, where she met her future husband, Martin Louis Black. She graduated from Long Beach State College’s Department of Education with a BA in 1954 and achieved her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Pepperdine University in 1978. She was a lifelong career educator, starting as an elementary classroom teacher and eventually becoming a Principal in the Long Beach School System, serving at several schools until her retirement. Prior to and after her retirement she was an avid world traveler, preferring small group “adventure” tours that ultimately took her to every continent on the planet and literally dozens of cities and countries from the most civilized to the most wild and exotic. She was tireless and quite literally fearless in her pursuit of global experiences: exploring the Earth’s beauty, finding its secret treasures and rejoicing in the diversity of its inhabitants both human and animal. When at home between these adventures she spent her “retirement” contributing both personally and in leadership positions with numerous charities including but not limited to the Children’s Dental Health Clinic, Fine Arts Associates, the P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), The Assistance League of Long Beach and the Presbyterian Church. She is survived by her daughter, Gail Westmyer and her husband, Gary; son Kurt Black and his wife, Jane; grandson Doug Westmyer, his wife Janet and their children Megan, Sarah, Ashley and Chad; and cousins Stan and Steve Griffeth. A memorial service will be held at St. Peter’s By-the-Sea Presbyterian Church (16911 Bolsa Chica St, Huntington Beach) on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 10:30am. In lieu of condolence flowers the family suggests that donations can be made in Shirley’s name to the Children’s Dental Health Clinic ( Please sign the guestbook at

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