Shirley E. Rouse Cates

August 15, 1935 — March 13, 2020

Shirley E. Rouse Cates

Shirley Rouse Cates, 84, of Albany, GA, died Friday, March 13, 2020 at her residence surrounded by her family. 

Her funeral service will be Monday March 16, 2020 2:00PM at the Chapel of Sherwood Baptist Church. Dr. Michael C. Catt, Rev. John Spencer and Mr. Ross Powell will officiate.

Born in Leesburg, FL, Mrs. Cates lived in Albany most of her life.  She was a 1953 honor graduate of Albany High School, attended Agnes Scott College, and graduated from Albany Vocational School with a degree in office administration. On January 15, 1955, after meeting him 58 days prior, she married James Russell Cates and they were married for 64 years until his death on December 11, 2019. 

Over the course of her life she worked at Life of Georgia Insurance, the family business—Albany Amusement, and AAC Home Alarms.  Later in life, she worked part-time with Belk and Toyota of Albany.

Shirley felt giving back through volunteering was one of her life’s greatest joys. She was a leader in her community and served in many civic organizations including the Albany Women’s Club, Albany Garden Club, and the Charity League of Albany; she was also a volunteer at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. In her varied roles, she worked with children’s activities, conservation efforts, and public affairs. She was Woman of the Year for the Albany Women’s Club in 2005, and a recipient of the Belk Employee Award of Excellence in 2006 for her community service.

She joined Sherwood Baptist Church in 1958, and taught Sunday School for over 50 years.  Shirley loved to cook, entertain, and spend time with her grandchildren. She had a strong faith and believed Christ worked through her to help others and enrich her life. In the past, she summarized her philosophy of life by referencing an old proverb: What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God.

Mrs. Cates was preceded in death by her brothers, Agnew (Hunky) Rouse, Edwin Rouse, William (Billy) Rouse, James (Rooster) Rouse.

Survivors include her sons, Cris Cates and wife Rebecca, Lee Cates and wife Sue, all of Albany, GA, sister-in-law, Kay Fickel and her husband, Rodney of Leesburg, GA, grandchildren, Jessica Miller (Steve), Brooklyn, NY, Charlotte Castro (Nick), Fayetteville, AR, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Taquelia Mainor, Angel Redmond, and Clair Reed of Integrity Hospice.

Those desiring may make contributions in memory of Mrs. Cates to Sherwood Baptist Church c/o Meet The Need, 2201 Whispering Pines Road, Albany, GA.

The family will receive friends March 16, 2020 at 12:30PM in the Atrium at Sherwood Baptist Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley E. Rouse Cates, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Monday, March 16, 2020

12:30 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 16, 2020

Starts at 2:00pm (Eastern time)

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