Remembering Ms. Shirley: Woman’s murder stuns Oakhurst

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 30, 2013

Everyone in the Cambridge Neighborhood knew Ms. Shirley.

Shirley Kendrick ran the concession stands at Oakhurst Park during baseball season and served as president of the Cambridge HOA. In 2002, the City of Decatur named her a hometown hero.

News of her murder and the arrest of her grandson stunned the Oakhurst community Wednesday. At age 75, Kendrick became the city’s first homicide victim since 2010. Police have arrested her grandson, 23-year-old Marquis La’Vonta Freeman, and charged him with murder, aggravated assault and battery.

Residents in Oakhurst described her as a friendly face who was active in her community.

In 2002, city of Decatur officials honored Kendrick with the city’s Hometown Hero award. Kendrick’s biography on the city’s website says: “Shirley is the president of the Cambridge Neighborhood Association and has served in this position for five years. The association volunteers to operate concession stands at Decatur Recreation Center, and Oakhurst and McKoy Parks during youth and adult athletic events. They also organize the annual Back to School Picnic at Oakhurst Park. In addition to fun and food, children are given school supplies. Each year for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Shirley organizes the community to take individuals with absentee sons and/or daughters out to dinner. People of all walks of life respect her ability to organize, problem solve and inspire others in the Decatur community.”

The Decatur High School Softball blog also reports that Kendrick provided police with accurate information of suspects in a string of robberies that occurred this summer.

The article says, “Even the cell-phone thieves passing through Oakhurst back in June showed enough respect to hang around long enough so veteran concessionaire Shirley Kendrick could give police spot-on descriptions.”

Police are still investigating Kendrick’s murder.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Sherry Siclair

    Shocked to my soul, I cannot imagine our neighborhood without her. Our community lost a leader, a kind and giving person and a link to Oakhurst’s past. Miss Shirley was well known throughout Oakhurst. She cheered me on when I was out walking, complemented my garden and hugged me when I had health worries. If the world had more people like her, it would certainly be a better place. Rest in peace, my old friend. May we all try to be more like her.

  • AJR

    Terrible news. Thoughts of peace and healing to the Kendrick family… they’ve all been through a lot.

  • Ross

    There will be a candlelight vigil outside of her home tomorrow evening at 7pm.

  • Mike from up the street

    Tjis is a tragic loss to Cambridge Ave. & the Oakhurst community. I’m sorry I’m out of town for the vigil Fri. We need to remember Marshall. I’m certain he will need a great deal of help in order to heal.

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