Shirrell was born Dec. 24, 1933 at Carthage, to Lewis K. Cortez and Leta M. Irwin Cortez. He graduated from Carthage High School and served his country in the U.S. Navy from May 3, 1956 until Dec. 27, 1957. He was a mechanic most of his life.
Shirrell married Emma Lee Adams on Sept. 21, 1959 at Richmond, Mo. She preceded him in death on April 19, 2007. He greatly enjoyed being outdoors, especially when camping, fishing or participating in turkey shoots. He also played and coached softball for many years.
He was saved at a young age and was a long time member of the Carthage First Nazarene Church. He was also a member of the Myrtle Masonic Lodge #149.
Besides his wife, He was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Leta Cortez; by a son, Richard Cortez; and by one brother-in-law, Andy Griffin.
He is survived by his children, Shirrell Cortez, II of Carthage, Terry Cortez, Joplin, Mo., Cynthialea Shiver, the state of South Carolina, Melanie Gooch, Webb City, Mo., Linda Cortez, Joplin, Erica Cortez, Leavenworth, Kan., Charlene Cortez, Orlando, Fla., Terry Cortez, Joplin, Mo., and Dawn Combs, Fillmore, Utah; three sisters, Mary Busch, Connie Moss, and Sandra Griffin, all of Joplin, Mo.; six brothers, Lewis Cortez and his wife, Willie Mae, Joplin, Mo., Ralph Cortez, Joplin, Mo., Arthur Cortez and his wife, Joyce, the state of Indiana, Bruce Cortez and his wife, Nancy, Baton Rouge, LA, Carroll Cortez and his wife, Donna, Las Cruces, N.M., and Cedric Cortez and his wife, Jan, Carthage, Mo.; 20 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends who will miss him very much.
Visitation will be 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 at Knell Mortuary. A brief memorial service will be 12:30 – 1 p.m. immediately following the visitation. He will then be cremated under direction of Knell Mortuary. Condolences may be expressed at www.knellmortuary.com.