By all accounts, Steve and Shirley Timmons were living the American Dream.
They had a big, loving family and a house on a lake near Senecaville, Ohio. Both 70, they had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 2016.
But their idyllic life took a tragic turn on January 6, when a fellow passenger at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shot them both while in the baggage claim of Terminal 2. Steve was injured and rushed to the hospital, and is currently in stable condition at Broward Health Medical Center, a family spokesperson tells PEOPLE. Shirley died at the scene.
The tragic and sudden loss has stunned those close to the Timmons family.
“They were a very vibrant couple, a lively couple,” childhood friend Duane Lucas tells PEOPLE. “Fun to be around.”
Lucas says that the couple was inseparable. “Thinking back on it, you know, you never saw Steve without Shirley or Shirley without Steve,” he says. “They were fun-loving people with a good sense of humor.”
Shirley Timmons was very well-liked in her community. While attending Barnesville High School in the early 1960s, she was part of the popular group, becoming a varsity cheerleader and being named Homecoming Queen. She cheered while Steve played football for the Barnesville Shamrocks. Lucas recalls her as being “upbeat and perky.”
After high school, Steve and Shirley got married. He worked several jobs while she raised the couple’s three daughters, who are now grown. Later, as they became grandparents, the couple opened a women’s clothing store, The Mayfair. She did the buying; he tended to the books.
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During their spare time, the couple spent time on the water. “They loved the lake and boating and skiing,” neighbor Steve Thompson tells PEOPLE. “They were wonderful folks, super nice people. There was never a day you didn’t see them, and they always had a smile or something nice to say.”
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Shortly after their loss, the Timmons family issued a heartfelt statement to honor the slain woman. “Shirley Timmons was an amazing daughter, wife, mother and grandmother,” the statement read. “For Shirley, it was all about family. She and her husband of 51 years met when they were in the 8th grade.”
“Together they built a close, loving family with their three daughters, three sons-in-law and eight grandchildren. For Shirley, family meant vacations, football games and holiday traditions. She was the most loving, passionate mother who had a love for life and truly sparkled. She will continue to sparkle through her husband, mother, three daughters and eight grandchildren. She touched many and was loved by all. She will live in our hearts forever and will be truly missed. We love you Mom and Grandma.”