- About Us
Shirley Temple (Bell) GavinApril 8, 1934 ~ November 30, 2017 (age 83)
Shirley Temple (Bell) Gavin, (April 8, 1934 - November 30, 2017), age 83, was born and raised in the Saddletree area of Lumberton, North Carolina.
She is survived by her four successful children, two sets of twins: Darlene Egan (Chicago, IL), David Gavin (San Francisco, CA), Kenneth Gavin (Denver, CO), and
Calvin One Deer Gavin (San Diego, CA), with eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and, by her brother, Stephen Harold Bell (Saddletree, NC), and sister, Melogene Bell Elwood (Charlotte, NC). She also has hundreds of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, elder relatives, and friends who love her spirit and hold passionate memories of her!
Shirley is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She attended Magnolia School. Her parents, Frank and Stella (Canady) Bell were of families with deep roots and history in the Saddletree area, Lumberton, and Pembroke. Shirley left the "Native farm, rural life" in her early 20's and visited her Aunt Hazel in Indianapolis, IN. There she met her husband, Raymond H. Gavin, and moved to Chicago, IL.
They raised their children and enjoyed a humble life in Sauk Village, IL. They were both very popular, as neighbors and community leaders, with lots of friends "in the Village". Her vocation included decades of work as a Mental Health Technician. She cared for mentally retarded children, in State homes, and often brought the children home for foster care. Shirley was always known for being fun, loving, and caring. She had lots of positive energy, always with a big smile, a magnetic personality, and she considered herself a "hugger"!
Later in life, Shirley moved to San Francisco, CA, with her second husband, Melvin Benson. They enjoyed the simple city life, social gatherings, farmers markets, and the routine of retired living. She had a lot of friends she met in shops, stores, markets, and around town. She was known as the "pretty lady", always wearing perfectly coordinated, colorful, and decorated unique clothes, hats, scarves, and jewelry. Professional photographers, tourists, and strangers on the street, and her friends loved to take pictures of the beautiful "San Francisco Lady"!
Shirley was also known as "never meeting a stranger", everyone became her best friend, and she loved helping others and making people happy! She loved her friends, relatives, and meeting new people. She'd always have visitors to San Francisco, and cooked organic, farm fresh meals, including recipes she loved from "the South", which she learned from her Mother. Shirley was a self-studied Native Herbalist and Nutritionist, and stayed vibrant, with lots of daily energy, because she only ate organic and healthy foods.
Aunt Shirley was a frequent visitor back "down home", for vacations, family reunions, school reunions, weddings, funerals, Lumbee Homecoming, Lumbee Pow Wow, and just to come home to Saddletree to visit folks, and family, and to cook and eat good "southern food". A member of the Ten Mile Baptist Church, as a child, she always knew she wanted to "come back home", as her final resting place. She always said, "no matter what, I want to go back down home".