Cover photo for Shirley Brittain's Obituary
Shirley Brittain Profile Photo
1937 Shirley Brittain 2023

Shirley Brittain

July 25, 1937 — February 3, 2023

Shirley Ann (Grebe) Brittain, born July 25th, 1937, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family, Friday, February 3, 2023. She is with her Lord and Savior in Heaven and celebrating with all those, especially her precious Floyd, who preceded her in death. What a party there must have been upon her arrival!
Shirley was born in Waco to the late Phillip Arthur and Lydia Magadaline Popek Grebe. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary school, North Junior High school and Waco High School. One of the highlights of her St. Mary’s years, included a memorable performance, when she enthusiastically tap-danced on stage until the elastic in her underpants broke and came down around her feet. Since Shirley was not finished entertaining her audience yet, she kicked her pants off the stage, continued her dancing onstage and throughout life, never missing a beat.
Although she did not know it at the time, Shirley met the love of her life when she saw him playing with his dog in his front yard. One day, she told her girlfriend, Rita, “I think I like that guy, Sonny Brittain”, and as they say, the rest is history. From that time on, Shirley and Floyd were sweethearts, married and became parents. During Floyd’s tour in the U.S. Army in Newfoundland, the birth of their first child Candice Ann, Floyd’s college years at Lamar University in Beaumont and his initial employment at Central Freight Lines, Shirley and Floyd’s strong love grew exponentially, as did their family.
Upon graduation from Lamar University and a return to Waco, it was discovered that Amy Kathleen was soon to be born followed by the births of the “stairsteps” Floyd Thomas III, Steven Arthur and David William. Shirley and Floyd had their hands full with cooking, cleaning, bottles, diapers and toys everywhere. Shirley’s mother, “Ganny”, was a constant presence in their home, assisting with the whirlwind of diaper changing, washing and hanging clothes on the line and cooking for five children.
Even though Shirley’s life as a wife, and mother was full-filling and challenging, her love of the Lord and her devotion to her beloved St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church, called her to serve. She first found this opportunity as Mother’s Club President of St. Mary’s School, an office she held for several years, and she was a very active member of the St. Mary’s Young Matron’s altar society. She joined the St. Mary’s choir, praising the Lord in song with her beautiful alto soprano voice. Shirley’s service continued throughout the next seventy years in various capacities. She worked tirelessly to increase the membership of the St. Mary’s Women’s Guild, where she was the President so many times that Floyd called her Madame President, which, Shirley loved, of course! As Guild President, she planned and completed remodeling the Parish Hall, and she chaired multiple Women’s Guild cookbook committees submitting her favorite recipes to the newest edition just last month. Shirley helped to organize a Bible Study and Prayer Group for her peers, led by Jim Fitzpatrick. She was a member of the Church Counsel and instrumental in planning and working at the yearly St. Mary’s Church Festivals, which raised funds for St. Mary’s.
One day in 1974, Shirley received a phone call from Robinson ISD Superintendent Bill Bradley asking, “Shirley, I need you to come to work at Robinson Elementary.” Nothing could have thrilled her more! Twenty-nine years later, she retired with a limousine ride, her students waving to the very popular Mrs. Brittain and crying, and a huge retirement reception. Shirley loved her Robinson Rockets passionately and followed her children and then her grandson Heath, to Drill Team and Cheerleading events, football, basketball, baseball games and track meets, and every Pride of the Blue Band competition and concert.
When her grandchildren were born, Shirley became a “hands on” Granny, giving advice, changing diapers, attending football, basketball and baseball games, dance recitals and plays. This new chapter in her life, gave Grandaddy and Granny, the time to spend watching the talents of their “grands” and enjoy the life of a very active retirement.
Shirley and Floyd developed a love of camping, fishing, and water skiing as young parents, and shared this love with family and friends at state parks and national parks all their lives. She was Camp Cook and party organizer and there was no lack of either. She and Floyd traveled often and always remembered their Branson and Colorado visits and Mount Rushmore trip as their favorites.
If you had the privilege of knowing Shirley, you were blessed by her exuberance for life, adoration of her parents, husband, children and close friends. Most of all, one will always understand her shining example and glowing love of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Shirley Ann Gebe Brittian was preceded in death by her parents, precious husband and sweetheart, Floyd, beloved brother Bill Grebe, Great Granddaughter, Mia Ann Aldrich, cousin, Carolynn Powell, and lifelong friend Joann Townsend.
She is survived by her brother Phillip Arthur Grebe, sister-in-law Jean Huesby, children Candice Ann Brittain Aldrich, Amy Brittain Hensel and husband Alan, Floyd Thomas Brittain III, Steven Arthur Brittain, and David William Brittain. Shirley’s eight grandchildren adored their Granny and include, Darrick Heath Brittan and wife Ashley, Courtney Louise Hager and husband Preston, Robert Travis Aldrich and wife Brittany, David William Brittain and wife Cheyenne, Harrison Walter Gray and wife Rebekah, Sara Elizabeth Joy Brittain, Katy Grace Brittain and Vivian Claire Brittain, ten great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and family friends.
In keeping with Shirley’s Catholic faith, a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Father Joseph Gelleney, officiating, and pallbearers including Heath Brittain, Travis Aldrich, David Brittain Jr., Harrison Gray, Preston Hager, Eric Powell, Chris Due, and Hoyt Schmunsler. Robert “Bud” Townsend, Alan Hensel and David Lawson are Honorary Pallbearers.
A special thanks to Janet and Charles Parsons, lifelong friends and neighbors. They checked on Shirley every day, often more than once, making sure everything she needed was at her fingertips. The Brittain family simply could not have taken such good care of our “Mother” without Janet and Charles.
Shirley requests memorials be made in her honor to St. Mary Church of the Assumption Catholic Church.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Brittain, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, February 6, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Mary's Catholic Church

1401 Washington Avenue, Waco, TX 76701

Rosary at 10:30 a.m., 30 minutes prior to the service

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