Shirley H. Broyles, trustee of St. Paul’s School for Girls and manager of Cross Keys dress shop, dies

Shirley H. Broyles was a world traveler and gardener who had a “passion for entertaining.”

Shirley H. Broyles, a St. Paul’s School for Girls trustee and manager of Octavia, a chic dress shop in the Village of Cross Keys, died of cancer July 27 at her home in Atlanta. The former Ruxton resident was 90.

Shirley Poulson, daughter of Edward and Nell Poulson, was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, where she graduated from St. Catherine’s School and attended Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia.


The then-Ms. Paulson was named the winner of the old Richmond, Virginia, department store Thalhimers’ “Date with Judy” Teen Queen Contest in 1948. The promotion was an apparent reference to the 1948 musical film “A Date with Judy,” starring a 16-year-old Elizabeth Taylor as a high school student who gets involved with an older man.

The store ran an ad in the Richmond-Times Dispatch that said in part, “Shirley was chosen for her natural beauty, her charm and vivacious manner. It was a a difficult decision for the judges to make because all were so pretty and such a credit to Richmond, but Shirley won out after much consultation.”


Mrs. Broyles fell in love with Gilbert Carroll Hooper Jr., a Baltimorean and University of Virginia graduate, whom she married in 1952.

Mr. Hooper worked in his family’s restaurant business in downtown Baltimore, Hooper’s, until he founded the Maryland Etching Co., a manufacturing business.

The couple settled in Ruxton where they raised five children. Mr. Hooper died in 1991.

The Morning Sun


Get your morning news in your e-mail inbox. Get all the top news and sports from the

Mrs. Broyles managed Octavia, a women’s clothing store in the Village of Cross Keys for many years, while devoting numerous volunteer hours to the Junior League of Baltimore.

She was treasurer of the St. Paul’s School for Girls’ Parents Association and a trustee of the Brooklandville school.

She was also chair of the McDonogh School Fashion Show, part of the centennial celebration of the Owings Mills school that was founded in 1873.

While attending a reunion of her late husband’s class at UVA, she met his former college roommate, Norris Broyles Jr., an investment banker, and fell in love. The couple married in 1993 and settled in Atlanta.

They were world travelers, gardeners and Mrs. Broyles had a “passion for entertaining,” family members said.


She had been a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 North Charles Street, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 18.

In addition to her husband of 30 years, Mrs. Broyles is survived by a son, Trey Hooper of Brooklandville; three daughters, Holly Leachman of Chevy Chase, Laurie Fisher of Timonium and Michelle Hooper Springer of Idlewylde; two stepsons, Norris Broyles III of Atlanta, and Ed Broyles of Seneca, South Carolina; a stepdaughter, Nancy James of Atlanta; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and seven step-grandchildren. She was predeceased by another daughter, Stacey Ellen Hooper.