Shirley R Lyman, 92

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — Shirley Lyman went home to our Lord on September 22, 2021 at the age of 92 after a lengthy struggle with dementia. She was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend known for her ultra-sharp wit, talent for telling great jokes, honesty, and open-handed generosity.

She was born on November 1, 1928 in Eden (formerly Leaksville) in Rockingham County, North Carolina as the youngest of three children to Aultsey Gordon and Mary Sue (Branscome) Smith. She graduated from Leaksville High School in 1945 where the high school annual described her as “saucy” and “animated.” This popular, lively, fun, and sassy (in a good way) personality marked her signature style and endeared her to many.

She completed nursing certification at The Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Danville, Virginia in the spring of 1954. While on a rotation at Dix Psychiatric Hospital in Raleigh, NC, she met her future husband, William “Mack” Lyman who worked as a groundskeeper while attending NC State. They married on June 19, 1953. Over the years, when asked where they met, Shirley and Mack enjoyed the uncomfortable reactions at their reply, “at Dix Hospital.” After marriage, Shirley worked as a nurse at Rex Hospital in Raleigh and then, after the family settled in Wrightsville Beach, at Babies Hospital and New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Shirley loved a great meal, especially anything involving chocolate, with family and friends or even recent acquaintances-known for treating folks to lunch after a friendly conversation. She also relished a good game of bridge.

Shirley is survived by her sons William “Mark” Lyman (Laurie) of Warwick, RI, and James “Mitch” Lyman (Wendy) of Raleigh, NC; grandchildren-Eric Lyman, Shannon Lyman, Josh Lyman, Caleb “CJ” Lyman, and Jenna Corpus (Matthew); great-grandson-Julian Lyman; and her sisters-in-law-Paula Fahnestock (Tom) and Martha Smith. She was preceded in death by her parents-Aultsey and Mary Sue (Branscomb) Smith, brother-Clyde Branscomb Smith, and sister-Josephine (Smith) Martin.

Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, September 28, at Andrews Mortuary, 1617 Market St., Wilmington, 28401, where Visitation begins at 1:00 PM, with a Celebration of Life Service following at 2:00 PM.   

The family suggests memorial contributions in Shirley’s honor be made to Transitions LifeCare Hospice,  Philanthropy Dept., 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607 or online at .

The family also welcomes online condolences in the Guestbook at They would love to hear from you and how Shirley blessed your life!

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