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Ron Shirley

Ronald Vincent Shirley    
Ronald Vincent Shirley, a friend who touched the lives of many, died Thursday, March 1, 2007 after a full life of 62 years.
Always quiet and charming, he entranced children as well as adults with his remarkable sense of humor. Many knew him and loved him deeply.
He coached young people in table tennis, basketball, math, and skills to build their lives.
This private, gentle man brought magic wherever he went.
He excelled academically in electrical engineering at Oklahoma State University, graduating as one of the top ten University seniors.
In athletics, table tennis became his sport, and he was a champion at OSU.
Ron was a System Engineer for IBM early in his business career, but owning small businesses was his life's work. Among these was Copy Fast Printing, which he started and ran for several years.
He became a national distributor for table tennis equipment from Sweden and Japan and acted as executive director for national table tennis tournaments in Oklahoma City and Houston.
Through his businesses and hobbies, he built life-long friendships.
Through Ron's coaching and leadership, he became mentor and friend to many.

He is survived by friends and family, including his older brother, Jim Shirley; and younger sister, Kathy Walters, brother-in-law George Walters; sister-in-law Elaine Shirley; nephews Steve Shirley and David Shirley; and nieces Christine Sinatra and Laura Walters; great-nephew Nicholas Shirley; and great-nieces Saige Shirley and Adeline Sinatra. He was preceded in death by his father, Melvin Shirley, and his mother, Katherine Shirley. To remember Ron, memorial gifts may be made to charities of your choice that serve children and animals. A graveside service celebrating Ron's loving life will be held at 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, 2007 at Rose Hill Burial Park, 6001 NW Grand Blvd in Oklahoma City. SMITH & KERNKE 1401 NW 23rd ST.

Published in The Oklahoman on 3/4/2007.


Note - any additional comments anyone would like to add here, please email kellyboyceba@gmail.com  . (We will include your name next to your comments).


(From an email from Alex dated 9-20-18)
My name is Alex Fields and I know it's been a while but I just got the info on Ron passing away. What a great friend and mentor.
My name is Alex Fields. I am an African American male and he was one of my 1st coaches who discovered me. I went on to take several state championships. At that time Ron was my coach and I loved him like a father. He treated me like a son. Whatever I can do to help the family in anyway. Much love to those guys and anyone that's associated with the table tennis world. I miss you all. My name's Alex Fields

(Kelly Boyce wrote on Mon, Sep 24, 2018 - "Can I post this on the web page for Ron Shirley?" )

Alex - "Yes please do it. It would be an honor to stand up for this guy. Man, what a impact he made in my life". 


The following is from an email from Allen Stout dated 3-22-07

I just found out about Ronís passing. We were very good friends in college at OSU. His roommate and I were playing a game of ping pong which evolved into a wrestling match where I separated my shoulder. Ron took me to OKC the next day to McBrideís Bone and Joint hospital where I had an operation. In 1968, I joined the Marine Corps OCS in Quantico. Later in my training, I was found to be not physically qualified after re-injuring my shoulder.

Ron tried to teach me how to play ping pong but he was way out of my league. We live in Cordell Hall which is the building just West of the stadium. Table tennis was played in the basement. I often wonder what would have happened to me if I hadnít played that game of ping pong.

Ron was President of the Men's Residence Hall Association back in those days and he had a lot of influence with Student Government. He brought a lot of recognition to the independent students at OSU. I could go on but no need. Obviously everyone who knew him was aware of how special he was.




The following is from an email from Jim Short on 4-16-08

I met Ron when I was about 13 years old. He was far kinder to me than I deserved since I came from an
unsettled home and occasionally took out my frustrations at the club where he was the president
and coach.

I would talk to him periodically over the years, and one time even performed a magic show for one of his
young relatives. Ron was always kind, funny and soft-spoken. He helped me during a time in my life
when I really needed help. I don't think I ever sufficiently thanked him for that.

When I read of his death on the OKC Table Tennis site it blindsided me. I only wish I had let him know what
he had done for me.

Regards, Jim Short



The following is from an email from Tuan Pham dated 11-12-09

Ron Shirley was a father figure to me, second only to my real father. He took me under his wing when I was 9, sponsoring me in table tennis and giving me the financial support I needed to have a more successful table tennis career. But 24 years after that first meeting, the only thing that still resonates with me is what a great guy he was. He was soft-spoken, easy-going, and cracked corny jokes, which worked most of the time. He was so kind and went out of his way to make us kids happy, once driving us from a tournament in Miami to Orlando just so we can go to Disney World, most likely on his own dime. Ron really hyped up his successor at Stiga to us, but I knew it wouldn't be the same, and it wasn't. The last time I spoke to him was to invite him to my wedding, which I knew he probably wouldn't be able to make because of the distance. He did inform me of his hospital visits, but I never knew the severity of them. I'm so sad to know that he's gone, and that I never got a chance to say goodbye. I'll miss you, Ron. Thank you for shaping my life in the ways only you can.

Tuan Pham



(this web page was created 5-27-11)