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Obituary: Matthew David Shirina

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Matthew David “Papa Matt” Shirina

Matthew David “Papa Matt” Shirina

Matthew David “Papa Matt” Shirina went home to be with the Lord on Feb. 26, 2021. 

Mr. Shirina was born on Feb. 18, 1930, in Windsor, Ontario, after his parents immigrated to Canada when fleeing religious persecution in the Middle East. Matt grew up in Fort William, Ontario, until his family moved to Flint, Michigan, in his teen years. 

He served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956 and was extremely proud to become a citizen of the United States during his time in the service. 

He moved to Chicago and married Peggy Khano in 1959. He worked for Schering Plough for 31 years, initially in Chicago and later in Memphis. After retiring, they moved to Franklin.

Matt loved hockey and coached youth at Saddle and Cycle Club in Chicago and later helped coach hockey at Centennial High School in Franklin. He was an avid golfer and was especially proud of achieving two holes in one. He was a member of the Shriners for over 50 years, where he played in the Oriental Band. He and Peggy were in the antique business for many years following his retirement.

Matt loved people and never met a stranger. He loved to sing, tell jokes and tell people about Jesus. Matt was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather. He was each child’s and grandchild’s biggest fan in all their extracurricular and sporting events. Matt was proud of his Assyrian heritage. He and Peggy have built a lifetime of traditions that their children will continue to pass down. 

He was a committed Christian; his faith grew stronger as he grew older. He read his Bible and prayed for others every day. He was a long-term member of Brentwood Baptist Church, where he enjoyed singing in the senior church choir. 

Matt was a two-time cancer survivor and he continuously shared with everyone how his faith in God supported him through surgery and chemotherapy. Matt particularly loved Psalm 103 and Romans 8, which he read aloud from both hours before his death.

Matt leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Peggy; son, Matthew Shirina Jr. (Nancy); daughters Renee Hoge (Jeff) and Deborah Adams (Stephen); grandsons Cameron Hoge (Robin), Conner Hoge (Delaney), Stephen Adams (Hanna), Matthew and Andrew Adams; granddaughters Sarah, Anna and Camille Shirina; sisters-in-law Bea Puccinelli (Al) and Helen Nader; brother-in-law, Art Khano; and many nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents David and Margaret Shirina; in-laws Sada and Nina Khano; sisters Jane Isaac, Surma Isaac and Nora Greenler; sisters-in-law Mae Khano and May Jacobs; brothers-in-law Allan Nader and Joe Jacobs; nephews Eric Greenler and Michael Khano; and nieces Susan Czech and Nora Ann Greenler.

The family would like to offer special thanks to Drs. Nipon Merchant and Matthew Abbate. We would also like to thank Chaplain Mona Barz with Alive Hospice and Christie, Tara, Vickie, Wendy and Bill with Adoration Home Health. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

A private service is planned on Sunday, March 7, at Brentwood Baptist Church.

Arrangements are being made by Austin Funeral Services. A guestbook is available at AustinFuneralService.com; 615-377-0775.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38 - 39.