On Friday, July 14th, 2023, Shirl Ann (Wuelfing) Wade passed away peacefully at home with her husband, Tom, at the age of 60 in DeRidder, Louisiana.
Born June 25th, 1963, to Shirley and Otto Wuelfing, Shirl was raised with her two siblings, Tammy and Eric, in and around St. Louis, Missouri. Shirl’s parents instilled in her a passion for travel and a deep love of the ocean. After graduating from Francis Howell High School, St. Charles, Missouri, in 1980, Shirl moved with her parents to Antigua, British Virgin Islands to be the first mate and cook for the family’s sailing yacht charter business. During this time she led a life of high adventure and learned to scuba dive and sailboard, and scrape barnacles off the hull. She met people from all over the world.
In 1981, Shirl moved to Franklin, Tennessee and with the help of longtime friends Gail, Dana, Tonya, and Ron Marinelli made her home there. While waitressing at the local Shoney’s, Shirl met and fell in love with Tom Wade. The pair were married March 17, 1984, in Brentwood. Shirl and Tom welcomed daughter BreeAnne Wade on February 11, 1989.
Shirl held many jobs throughout her life, many revolving around her love of good food and serving people. She learned to cook at a young age by her mother’s side and went on to cater successfully with her sister Tonya in Nashville and later with her cousin Debbie Kirk in Atlanta.
The family lived in Atlanta from 1993 to 2009 where Shirl served the Girls Scouts both as a leader of her daughter’s troop (Troop 2022), and also as a sub-unit director for the organization. As a Girl Scout leader, Shirl was an influential and beloved mentor, imparting on countless girls the skills necessary for survival from the wild to the boardroom.
Seeking a little more adventure, Shirl and Tom moved to Southwest Louisiana in 2009.
Shirl is preceded in death by her mother, Shirley Hill, her stepfather, Joel Hill, her parents-in-law Jerry and Arlene Wade, and her brother-in-law Rick Rayburn. As well as her beloved pets Scout, Kahlua, Cream, Bailey, and Ivan.
She leaves behind her husband of 39 years, Tom Wade; their daughter, BreeAnne Wade; her siblings Tammy Rayburn, Eric Wuelfing, Dana Sullivan, Tonya Whitaker, and Ron Marinelli. Along with a large network of extended family and friends. Also her adored pets Annie and Charlie, and Penelope and Atlas.
A Celebration of Shirl’s Life will be held on July 30th, starting at 4 pm at The Castle Recording Studio at 1393 Old Hillsborough Road in Franklin , TN. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Shirl’s honor to the American Heart Association.