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Lt. Col. Otis Allen Shirley, Jr. (Ret), United States Army , (83) of Birmingham, Alabama passed away on August 29, 2020. He was devoted to the pursuit of excellence in every endeavor. He was inspired to contribute to a new type of law enforcement. Col. Shirley graduated from Atlanta Law School with an LLB in 1964, later achieving a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Albany in 1981 and a Master’s from Beacon College in 1983. Colonel Shirley devoted most of his life and career to the military, as he was a 1965 graduate of the Georgia Military Institute. Additionally, he graduated from the Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1978. Col. Shirley notably began serving in the United States Army in 1967, with time spent overseas in Germany, Vietnam, and the Panama Canal Zone. He officially retired from his post as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1986.
For his success in the military and his outside professional career, Col. Shirley has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. For his service, he holds a Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, a Vietnam Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, an Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and an Air Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal (Guatemala Earthquake). The badges he was honored with include, Vietnam Parachutist Badge, Aerial Observer Badge, Combat Infantry Badge and Recondo Badge, as well as a National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Medal, Army Over Seas Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. To add to his repertoire of honors, Col. Shirley also holds a Presidential and Meritorious unit Citation, Decorated Purple Heart, Cross of Gallantry with Palm and Bronze Star, and Legion of Merit. Col. Shirley took great pride in his military years, and he thanked the Armed Forces for inculcating within him the ability and desire to do any job no matter how difficult it was and never quit. The United States Army gave him the chance to become the hero of his childhood dreams.
Despite his notable achievements and humbling recognitions from the military, Col. Shirley described building his family as the highlight of his life. He was thankful to God for his wife Frances Walls, children Susan Lynn and Anthony Allen, and grandchildren Sherman Allen Root, Caroline Frances Root, and Alexis Therese Shirley.
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