Brenham – Shirley Sacks, a longtime resident of the Brenham area, died Friday the 5th of June at Heartland Country Inn and Retreat Center.
Shirley was born in Oklahoma City, OK. in 1928 and shortly after leaving high school, moved to New York City to pursue her independence.
Settling in Houston, TX. in her young adulthood, Shirley began a 30 year career in ballroom dance instruction, first teaching at the esteemed Steven’s of Hollywood and then opening her own enterprise named Shirley Turner Dance Studio which she ran successfully for almost two decades.
In the late 70’s, Shirley and her husband, Maurice moved to a beautiful 158 acre piece of land outside of Brenham, TX. where she started a small Bed and Breakfast named Heartland. Over the next 40 years this visionary project grew into a large retreat center able to serve up to 200 guests, catering primarily to church and crafting groups as well as associations affiliated with Texas A&M University and other organizations from around central Texas. Heartland Country Inn and Retreat Center was Shirley’s passion. Being able to provide a place of spiritual retreat, healing, rest, and community to guests from around the area brought her immense joy and satisfaction.
Shirley had no children of her own. But after her mother’s death at a young age, Shirley became the matriarch of her family, assuming guardianship of her youngest sister, Rebecca, and attending in any way possible to the needs of her siblings and family.
Shirley was married to her Husband, Maurice for over 30 years. Being a successful business man, under Shirley’s tutelage, Maurice became an accomplished dancer of his own, even helping teach classes in her studio. After contracting emphysema, Shirley and Maurice moved to Heartland where she cared for him for over 10 years. Having the warm spirit of a caregiver, Shirley also nursed two of her brothers in their battles with fatal illness.
Shirley is preceded in death by her husband Maurice, her sister Naomi Schwartz, and her brothers Mort and Frank Finkelstein. She is survived by her brothers Ralph, Bert, and Stanley Finkelstein; Her sister, brother in law, and nephew Rebecca, Maurice, and Joshua Schmidt respectively; her nephew Jon Schwartz, and niece Nonya and the entire Grenader family.
Funeral services will be held at 4pm at Emanu El Cemetery, 8341 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX. 77074, Sunday, June 7th and will be officiated by Cantor Mark Perman
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to a charity of one’s choice.