SHIRLEY ISABEL FITZGERALD (nee Brown)
Shirley died quietly in Newmarket on December 20, 2016, with her loving and devoted husband, Jim, by her side and family nearby.
Wife and best friend of Jim for 61 years (“I was lucky enough to meet her at a dance on my only summer visit to Port Elgin, in 1954”). She has now joined Doreen, Gord, Jim, Bob, Carol, Bill and Marg at the Humberside Collegiate Institute Celestial Bridge Club.
Cremation has taken place and as she wished, a Celebration of her Life for family and friends will take place in late January, 2017.
Shirley, born on a farm in fertile Bruce County, spent her teens in Walkerton, coming to Toronto in 1954, along with Hurricane Hazel.
At age 81, she enjoyed a full life, meeting all of its challenges with great courage and charm, nurturing and guiding her family as the family tree sprouted from 6 children to 16 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Although facing increasing serious heart and health related issues this year, she persevered with bravery and humour and was able to preside at her traditional pre-Christmas dinner with 35 family members at our home in Newmarket.
Shirley’s greatest joy was her family. And there are many who treasured her love. Our own original six – Deborah, Tim (Sue), Cameron, Scott (Victoria), Warren (Kerri-Ann) and Jason (Lisa). Proud grandmother to Matthew (Danielle), Nelleke, Jaron, Sarah (Mike), Erika (Kyle), Madison, Dillon, Sydney, Calem, Lucas (Ev), Schuyler (Brad), Dallas, Taylor, Jacob, Tyler and Mackenna. Loving great-grandmother to Liam, Brynn, Addison, MacKenzie, Harper, Quinn and Maya.
Shirley’s interest in people and her ability to sense their needs and their dreams naturally led to a successful career as a district sales manager for Avon and then in 1972, into real estate as a broker for over 25 years. She was a political ‘junkie’, an avid reader, a lover of music and dance, a keen bridge player, and a great cook. A poetic spirit, she often wrote verse to celebrate friends and family birthdays and special occasions.
In her retirement years she basked in the warmth of the sun as it sparkled on the waters of Georgian Bay, where she and Jim warmly welcomed family to the cottage that Jim and their sons built in 1991 on Shawanaga Bay at Pointe au Baril.
Shirley loved flowers – wild and domestic. On the rocky cliffs of the Canadian Shield beside the cottage she created a mini Butchart Gardens. She often canoed into the moonlight at dusk with Jim, exploring inlets and bays, appreciating the song of the loons.
Her affection for children was large. In her early years as a mother of 6, Shirley taught Sunday school in Newmarket. Her nurture extended as well to friends of her children, who were always welcomed into her home and table. Our memories of her are many. We believe that they are her eternal legacy; a legacy that we carry in our hearts and pass on to our children, grand and great grandchildren, through the telling of stories of good times shared and a life well lived.
The family would like to thank CCAC Coordinators, nurses and personal support workers. Thanks especially to her specialists Dr. Zadra, Dr. Charest and Dr. Persyko, whose care contributed to Shirley’s ability to live out the last 3 years of her life. And to Dr. So, for her care in the last chapter.
If desired, donations could be made to The Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Shirley Fitzgerald.source
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