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AREA WOMAN SLAIN ON TRIP TO FLORIDA OLEAN RESIDENT FOUND INSIDE CAR

An Olean woman who was driving to Florida to visit her sister for Christmas was found shot to death in her car Monday about 300 miles from her destination, the apparent victim of a robbery.

Shirley J. Lewis, 62, was shot twice in the head on an entrance ramp to Interstate 95 in Yulee, Fla., just south of the Georgia state line.

Mrs. Lewis, who would have been 63 on New Year's Day, had been shot with a .22-caliber gun from very close range, according to the Nassau County Sheriff's Office in Fernandina Beach.

Col. Rocky Mistler of the sheriff's office said her purse and other items were missing from the car.

He said police do not know if she was forced to stop by a car ahead of her or whether someone pulled up behind her after she stopped for some other reason. There were no signs of a struggle, he said.

Mrs. Lewis, who had lived in Olean for the past 20 years, was on her way to Deerfield Beach, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale for a Christmas visit with her sister, Doris Wirges, when she was slain.

A native of Buffalo, she was a graduate of Bradford (Pa.) High School and a 1989 graduate of Jamestown Community College. She was employed at Olean Advanced Products.

She was a member of Christ United Methodist Church and its choir, the Olean Community Theater and its Theater Workshop, and Olean Community Chorus. She was a past president of the Sweet Adelines and its affiliate, Harmony Inc.

In addition to Mrs. Wirges, she is survived by another sister, Marian Shinners of Olean; two stepsisters, Garnet Andrews of Bradford, Pa., and Mary Lou Lockhart of Kendall, and a stepbrother, Hugh Pratt of Salamanca.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Guenther Funeral Home, 1303 E. State St., Olean. Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery, Friendship.

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