The family of Shirley Abbie Mitchell are grieved to announce her sudden passing on June 27, 2009 in Quesnel, British Columbia.
Shirley is survived by her daughters, Sherry (Terry) Stone and Shelley (Rob Creasser) Mitchell and her grandchildren, Alicia (Chris) Burdess, Deanna and Chelsea Stone Benjamin and Mackenzie Creasser, sisters, Margaret Lewis , Myrtle Sykes , Pearl Brownmiller and Betty McAuley.
Shirley was predeceased by her husband, Lloyd Mitchell in 2007; her parents, Lena and William Hanson; her brother Billy Hanson; and sister, Violet Belyk. She was also predeceased by her sister-in-law, Merle Dymond and brothers-in-law, Lloyd Lewis, Oliver Brownmiller and Art McAuley.
Shirley was born in Prince Albert, Sask. in 1931 and grew up during the depression in Smeaton, Sask Although these were hard times for many, William Hanson’s, horse and buggy taxi/delivery service and her mother’s teaching career allowed the family to weather these difficult times. The unfortunate death of her father in 1939 and then her brother eight years later were events that shaped Shirley’s early life and influenced her personality. She developed an unwavering dedication to family and friends and she maintained this loyalty throughout her life. She was always congenial to others and always able to listen compassionately.
Shirley and Lloyd were married in March 1951 in White Fox, Sask. They spent the first 15 years of their marriage moving to a number of small towns in northern Saskatchewan following LLoyd’s career as an elevator agent/purchaser. It was in these small communities of Smeaton, Crutwell, MacDowell, Hagen and White Fox they collected many lifelong friends, attended family events, hockey games and competed in many curling bonspiels and community activities. It was also during these early years that Shirley took her organizational, crafting and homemaking skills to a new level. Her knitting and crocheting projects are well known by many and any number of newborns has sported her creations. Although she never brought attention to herself her canning, pickling and baking talents were also something she accomplished. With the addition of her daughters, Shirley expanded her roles of wife and homemaker to that of mother.
The move to Quesnel was made in 1964 with their family friends, the Kirkhams. Although Shirley, Lloyd, Laurence and Kathleen had ventured to Quesnel in1955, they did not make the move away from the prairies until their children were born. As Shirley and Kathleen had been school chums in Smeaton, the move west cemented their family’s friendship and forged an extended family connection that spans five generations.
Once in Quesnel, Shirley continued to pursue her many crafting and homemaking skills and added sewing to her repertoire of activities. Her life as a homemaker revolved around her family and she was active in Girl Guides of Canada, the United Church Sunday School and UCW. She was an involved mother, welcoming and warm to all who came into the house, interested and curious about all things. She facilitated piano lessons, swimming lessons, camping at 10 Mile or Bouchie lakes and any number of projects that could be dreamed up by her daughters. Shirley entered the work force in the late 1970’s as a Homemaker extending her open and warm-hearted manner to those needing assistance in their home. Her caregiver created many practical concerns and issues. As always, she confronted each obstacle with a strong will and turned to family and friends for support and guidance.
In their last few years together, Shirley and Lloyd rediscovered their love of curling and Shirley especially enjoyed the bonspiels and Briars that connected them with her sister, Violet, and their prairie roots. Even when they were no longer able to attend the functions, Shirley followed along, kept score and cheered for her favourites. She also continued to read her novels, work on puzzles and search a word, attended the library faithfully, and scoured the garage sales with Jo-Anne and Beth. Even though she promised not to buy any more Christmas plates or dishes, she often could not resist.
Shirley will be remembered for her dedication to family and friends, her sense of humour, her quiet and steadfast resolve, and her interest in and ease with people.
Her daughter’s would like to thank the community at Charlotte Manor for watching over mom and helping her through these last few difficult months in her battle with cancer, special thanks to Alma for her home care talents that allowed mom to stay in her home; Dr. Van Dyk and the staff at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital for their care and consideration during her last days. The family is especially grateful for Jo-Anne, Beth and Gary whose unwavering care and support these past few years has kept mom in Quesnel, which was her choice.
Funeral Services are set for July 3, 2009 at 1:00 pm at Clayton’s Funeral Directors, 582 Front Street, Quesnel, B.C. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or
GR Baker Memorial Hospital to enhance patient care.