Obituary of Shirley Heath Brock Hager
Sadly, on Friday June 23rd Shirley Hager, formerly known as Shirley Brock, and originally Shirley Heath passed away in her sleep. A beloved Mother, Grandmother, and Grandma Great to her great grandchildren she is survived by a large family who will miss her dearly.
Shirley Hager was born in Lexington on March 9th, 1926. Shirley attended Kenwick and Maxwell Elementary. She went to Morton Junior High and graduated from Henry Clay High School. Shirley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Science in Home Economics from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture in 1949. She joined the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and has been a lifelong member. She later received her Master of Science in Education and Counseling from the University of Kentucky College of Education in 1959. After that, she received Certification in Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. She was also a member of Phi Delta Kappa.
She taught Home Economics for 5 years and was a high school counselor for 3 years before moving into Administration for 25 years with Fayette County Schools. Her work with special education in the identification and placement of students in programs they needed was very important to her. She later went on to supervise teachers in Homebound, Hospital Programs, the Day Treatment Center, Florence Crittenden Home. When she was the Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel, she made many home visits to help families/students resolve truancy concerns to remain in school.
During her career, she received several awards for her Home Economics work. She was an early advocate for mental health initiatives in Kentucky after working as a High School Counselor at Bryan Station High School and as Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel with Fayette County Public Schools. She received a Kentucky Colonel designation for her community service work as Chairperson for the Bluegrass Regional Health Board. Our mother was very proud of working with Lexington leaders like Lil Press to bring the beginning community mental health centers to the Bluegrass Region. Another award she valued was for her contributions to the Boys Town Program and recognition for her work from the Fayette County Board of Education in 1986.
After retiring, she continued to be actively interested in supporting public education in Kentucky. Senator Reginald Thomas honored her dedication by recognizing her in the Kentucky Senate Chambers in 2018. Mom was thrilled to be part of the “Red for Ed” advocacy in Frankfort. Another highlight was being awarded a “Teacher Who Made A Difference,” plaque by the College of Education in 2018. She was so touched that State Representative Cherlynn Stevenson attended the ceremony honoring her work. She was very pleased that her daughter, Karen, and granddaughter, Alyssa, also worked in public education and were actively involved in public education advocacy/mental health support .
She married Foster Curtis Brock, and they had 3 children: Karen, Curt, and Lynn. Her children were the light of her life, only to be even more brightened with the many grandchildren and later great children. She loved seeing her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren visit.
Upon retirement moved down to Naples, Florida for several years but returned to be closer to family and caring for her Aunt Margie and later her mother, Cora Heath. Mother renewed a friendship with a high school friend and they got married. She happily married Douglas B. Hager and he brought more wonderful people into the family. For over twenty years she was married to Douglas Hager, and a step- mother to his son Wayne and another grandmother to his children. She and Doug were active members of Immanuel Baptist Church where he volunteered.
Our mother has been so important to all of us. She leaves behind the following loving family: Her children: Karen Guffey(David), Foster C. Brock III(Janet), Lynn Brock. Her grandchildren include: Alyssa Proctor, Christy Cromer Bates (Shawn), Travis Brock(Melissa), Chris Brock (Missy), Jerry Brock (Trista). Shane Peck, Erin Guffey, Kyle Guffey. Her Great Grandchildren include: Jordyn, Zavier, Leilani, Hailey, Kylah, Kaden, McKaylee, Wesley, Dalton, Danielle, Kai, Emma, and Ella.
Until the end of her life she stayed opinionated and loving. She now joins her loving family and friends in heaven and we will miss her.
Funeral services will be Wednesday June 28, 2023, 10am, at Clark Legacy Center, Brannon Crossing. Burial will follow in Bluegrass Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5 until 7pm at Clark Legacy Center. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to: Fayette County School Social Workers, The Women’s Network, or Immanuel Baptist ChurchTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Brock Hager, please visit Tribute Store