Shirlee Terrell was one of the first African-American telephone operators for Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania during the 1950s.

She died of natural causes on May 19, 2012. She was 80.

Terrell was born in Philadelphia on April 15, 1932, to Leonard and Lillian Carr. She graduated from Simon Gratz High School and attended Philadelphia Community College.

She was married to James Terrell until he died in 2004.

After leaving Bell Telephone, Terrell went to work for the Philadelphia Transportation Authority, which later became SEPTA. She remained with the company for almost 40 years.

She was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Terrell is survived by her daughter, Robyn; grandson, Javan; sister, Jean; cousin, Cleo; and other relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be held June 14 at 11 a.m. at Rolling Green Memorial Park, Route 202 and West Chester Pike. Family and friends are invited to celebrate her life following the memorial service at 1 p.m. at Platinum Grill, 7719 Crittenden Street in Chestnut Hill.

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