By Terry Harpole
For the WPT
In what began as a surprise birthday party for Albert Maury Shurlds Sr., who lives on Hatcher Road north of Maben, 20-25 people met at Trace-Way Restaurant in Mathiston to honor and help him celebrate his 88th birthday.
Mr. Shurlds’ daughter, along with her brothers, her children, nephews and nieces, planned with the Sunday School class Shurlds teaches at Maben Methodist Church and many from other churches to have the surprise birthday celebration.
On the night of Jan. 16, around 25 people from the community, including one former pastor of Maben Methodist, gathered at Trace-Way for a night of fun, visiting and celebration.
Mr. Shurlds grew up in the Tchula community in the Mississippi Delta and did lots of farming before marrying Mildred Freeman of the Maben area. After teaching in Delta schools, the Shurlds moved to the Hatcher community in Webster County north of Maben.
While living in the area, Mrs. Shurlds taught for many years at Cumberland High School while Mr. Shurlds taught with the Math Department, at Mississippi State University.
After retirement, they both remained active in all area events and in Maben Methodist Church, where Mr. Shurlds now is a Sunday School teacher. They both have enjoyed many trips and cruises, seeing many parts of the world.
Both he and his wife, Miss Mildred, who died in October 2010, were always supporters in and believed in the importance of education, as evidenced in the lives of their three sons and one daughter.
Since Mrs. Shurlds’ death, Mr. Maury still remains active, and enjoys long trips and even sometimes taking a grandson with him. He is much involved in the lives of all his grandchildren.
For the birthday celebration at Trace-Way, Shurlds’ daughter, Marcia McGlohn of the Birmingham area, brought a large cake and giant “hamburger cake”, and they both caught the attention of all who came.
The reason for this was that when Marcia and many people come back to the area, they will often visit the Trace-Way for one of its hamburgers.
After the party was over, and people were still hanging around visiting, Mr. Shurlds was planning for his birthday, next year.
Happy birthday Albert Maury Shurlds!