Shirley Ruth (Caldwell) Hemphill

December 15, 1937 ~ October 6, 2019 (age 81)


Shirley Ruth Hemphill, 81, of Gainesville Georgia, died early Sunday morning, October 6, 2019, with the comfort of her two daughters after suffering complications associated with Alzheimer’s.  Visitation will be Thursday October 10, 2019 from 6-8 at Little and Davenport and a celebration of life service will be held Friday October 11, 2019 at 11:00 am at Lakewood Baptist church in Gainesville with a reception following.

Shirley was born December 15, 1937 to parents Charles Victor and Mary Elizabeth Baird Caldwell in Butler Tennessee.  Shirley was raised in Johnson City Tennessee, where she graduated from Jonesboro high school.  She then went to nursing school in Tennessee to get her Licensed Practical Nursing degree.  After having children, she took a break from nursing and did some modeling with her daughter Sonia at the Barbizon School of modeling and worked for a dress shop at Lakeshore Mall called Shirley’s.   Wanting to get back into nursing and caring for people, she then went to Emory to get her license in Cardiopulmonary and Respiratory Therapy.  She worked for Lanier park hospital, then Northeast Georgia Medical Center after their merger, where she worked 30 plus years and retired in 2013.  She had such a passion for her patients and a smile for everyone she met!

She has been a member of Lakewood Baptist church since 1968 where she has spent almost 50 years loving on and rocking babies in the nursery.  She also enjoyed and took great pride in cleaning the nursery rooms at the church and being a part of such a beautiful and caring church family!  One of her passions in life was shopping.  We use to joke that she must have stock in Belk.  As much as she loved to shop, her true passion was for her family.   She loved to give to others and would do so at any cost!  She loved being a mother to her 4 children and a grandmother to so many grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She loved her red glasses, The Golden Girl’s, Johnny Mathis and being with her family.  She was the sweetest soul and she will be missed by so many!

Shirley is proceeded in death by her parents, Charles Victor Caldwell and Mary Elizabeth Baird Caldwell, siblings, Jack, Dot, Susie, and Charles Victor Jr. and her precious beloved daughter Sonia Hemphill Dunagan. 

She is survived by siblings:  Bonnie, Richard Caldwell, Danny Caldwell and wife Janie, Nieces:  Jennifer and Ashley Caldwell, Children: Vance Chase (wife Terri), DeDe Forrester, and Jodi Branyon (husband Jeff), her grandchildren:  Chelsea Beard (husband Mike), Christin McLean (husband Robbie), Will Chase (wife Brooke), Carlie Jones (husband Joshua), Chase Forrester (wife Amy), Cara Beth Branyon, Davis Branyon, Cade Chase, Sean Branyon, Great grandchildren:  Jaelie Forrester, Jake Beard, Haddie McLean, Maggie Beard, Cruze Mclean, Canon McLean, Raleigh Jones, Sonia Lakeleigh Jones, Ezzie (Ruth) McLean (named after Shirley), River Mclean, Loretta Chase, Benjamin Forrester, Cooper Chase and baby Forrester due in 2020.

Shirley, known as “memaw” to so many, will be greatly missed but we know that she is in the arms of the Lord and is finally at peace!

In lieu of flowers you may send donations to The Lakewood Baptist Children’s Ministry

Thank you all for your love, prayers and support!

Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at

Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.

To send flowers to Shirley's family, please visit our floral section.


October 10, 2019

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory
355 Dawsonville Hwy SW
Gainesville, GA 30501

Funeral Service
October 11, 2019

11:00 AM
Lakewood Baptist Church
2235 Thompson Bridge Rd.
Gainesville, GA 30501

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