Shirley Perry Sulick, age 76, of Wake Forest, NC passed away on July 24,2021 at home with her loving husband Michael by her side.
Shirley was born March 27, 1945 in Pittsboro, NC, and was the daughter of Luther and Ruth Perry. A graduate of Fordham University in New York, Shirley was active in community affairs in New York City, first working as an aide to State Senator Carl McCall, and then as director of a tenant advocacy program.
While in New York, Shirley married Michael Sulick on October 28, 1978. When Michael joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1980, Shirley began to accompany him on overseas assignments to Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. During this time, she began her own US Government career, first working for the Department of State in US Embassies, and then supporting CIA clandestine operations overseas.
Back in the US, she served as a CIA project manager specializing in diversity recruitment. In this role, she developed an ambitious hiring plan to increase diversity recruitment by pioneering and nurturing relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, (HBCUs), Hispanic, Asian, and Native American organizations. For her agency service, Shirley was awarded the CIA Career Commendation Medal.
Shirley was always passionately involved in community affairs and drove these efforts into high gear immediately upon retirement from government service and relocation to Wake Forest. She was appointed a member to the Democratic Women of Wake County where she worked intensively on voter registration drives.
Although diagnosed with cancer eight years ago, she did not rest, and dedicated herself to promoting early screening and research on lung cancer. She was a member of the board of the Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) of North Carolina, and an active participant in the organization's many projects. Literally a "poster child," Shirley appeared in interviews, videos and on posters throughout Raleigh telling her story and advocating early screening for the disease.
Sometimes called a "force of nature" by her family, friends and neighbors, Shirley was as relentless in pursuing her community initiatives as she was during her federal government career, and her vibrant and self-confident personality helped her advance those initiatives.
Shirley is survived by her husband Michael and her loving daughter Felecia Perry of Raleigh, NC.
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 6, 2021 from 2-4PM and 6-8PM at Bright Funeral Home, 405 South Main Street, Wake Forest, NC. A celebration of Shirley's life will be held Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 11AM, at the Bright Funeral Home, followed by interment at the Pine Forest Memorial Gardens. The service will be live streamed. Click here to view the service.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to our friends and the many people in the community for all their support over the past few months of Shirley's illness.
We ask that you please forward any donations to the Lung Cancer Initiative, 5171 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 401, Raleigh, North Carolina 27612.