I met Shirley when I was a kid, at an age when a classmate's mom would be the last person you'd expect to call a friend. But a friend she became, and we stayed friends ever since.With her warmth, her friendly manner, her habit of looking out for everyone else, and most of all her easy laugh and sense of humor, she was one of a kind, a tiny lady with a huge heart. In the age of the Internet, when it's so easy to dash off email to someone on their birthday, she was the only friend to whom I sent real birthday cards with personal notes, hoping that a bad pun would give her a good laugh.Ruth and I always looked forward to the next time we'd bump into Shirley somewhere in the neighborhood. It was wonderful to see her at our high school earlier this year, and to see her enjoying herself among friends. We'll miss her greatly but we'll continue to smile every time we think of her.
I vividly recall the time when we all sat around Shirley's kitchen table. It was like home, and all of us around the table felt like family.There was a mannerism of Shirley's that I had forgotten, but was brought back with all of its warmth and rememberance at the statue dedication at Venice High. Shirley grasped my forearm, put her other hand on mine, looked me straight in the eye, smiled, and asked how I was doing. It was, as ever, heartfelt and meant the world to me.We had a nice visit that day, and she recalled that I looked handsome when I picked Betty up for the senior prom. I don't blush often anymore, but I did then, and told her I was half as handsome as Betty was beautiful that night.I strive to make my table a hospitable place for friends and strangers, and Shirley provided the model for how it's done right...Including a meal for anyone that is hungry.
Photo pages:http://shirleyb.weebly.com/ Old L.A. Times article: http://riprense.com/shirley.htm
Shirley cared for people in an extraordinary way. It snuck up on me, much later than it should have, that here was a person who would always take an interest in what I do, in what I think, and in how I felt. No longer living in L.A., I didn't see her often. But when I did come back into town, she was always there for a meal, and it was as though time stood still. Shirley always knew how to connect immediately. She made me feel at home.What a special person she was. And what a beautiful life she led.
Every day I'm tempted to pick up the phoneand talk or leave a message for my cousin Shirley, she was so dear to me, Ican't believe that she is not with us anymore.We will miss her foreverShe was only 3 years older then I, but people would constantly comment how we resembled each other, and she would reply: That's because we are twins, born 3 years apart!!!!!.Her sense of humor, her understanding ofhuman nature, her kindness toward peopleher sharing personality, how she treated and helped family, friends, strangers in such a human and selfless way, you had to love and admire her.She"ll live in our hearts forever, I wasso lucky to have been part of her family.There will never be another human being like Shirley, SHE WAS UNIQUE !!!!
Shirley was a dear and cherished member of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Peer Support Group at the condo complex where my wife Gail and I live. I act as the group facilitator.Shirley's presence nourished us all. Her unceasing compassion and deep intelligence combined with her sharp wit (she often told us very funny jokes) powerfully contributed to these weekly meetings meetings becoming a significant factor in all our lives. Shirley's chair, now unoccupied, will continue to be a presence at all our meetings.
Sometimes you meet someone that you can never forget, that is my experience with Shirley. Having worked with her for almost 10 years, I found her to be a fun loving, caring, dedicated nurse who performed not to fulfill a job requirement but to do nursing in the true sense of the word. She can wash the patients fro head to toe, even the toenails, no kidding! She never complained about her assignments, everyday she came to work ready to meet the demands of the day and would always to a second mile. When it comes to interaction with co-workers, she did not treat us as just co-workers, but friends. We partied together, wrote letters to each other, Shirley was always a team player. In the morning, after report, Shirley would have a ready joke for us, many of which I still remember. She is a spark plug, sometime who brings sunshine to anyone she comes in contact with. I can go on and on about Shirley. The only regret I have is that we were not able to be there for her during the days she needed her friends, we moved from the area and did not know about her illness. We will miss Shirley very much. Our prayer are with you, Betty & family and Ben & family.
This is one of the saddest news I received.My memory of Shirley is enomous.She has made a big difference in my life and I am sure to a lot of others as well.Like what most people had said she is one in a million..a gift of heaven for us.I was a young awkward nurse when I started at Cedars and despite my shortcomings,Shirley was the first person to welcome me unconditionally.Her most outstanding virtue was her compassion for others. She is the most sincere and caring person I have ever met.In our profession as nurses where compassion is plenty,Shirley stood out way above any of us.I cannot forget that time when I got sick myself and Shirley was at my bedside all the time.I was still single and alone then and she looked out after me like my own mother would.My doctor later revealed to me that he got nervous and uneasy especially with Shirley hovering and worried for me.When I got better,I took my first trip back home(after 7 yrs)and Shirley surprised me at the airport with a big loaf of special bread to assure that I wont get hungry on the way.I also remember tagging along with her after our shift visiting patients in other areas of the hospital just to say hello once again.Later,I quietly excused myself to this routine for lack of extra energy that only she possessed. Shirley nourished us all with her gift of humor.Our small group in 8NW was like family.She always had a ready joke for us to start the day.and hey you guys ..do you remember the"DOG HOUSE?"and DR -whats-his -name was always in it?? haha it was Shirleys most brilliant idea of course.what a thrill it was to drop his name again and again.The parties...Xmas at Claires house, Bettys house, Felys house,Cedars,trip to universal,Leomias RN graduation,my wedding,retirement parties,birthday parties,goodbye parties,reunion dates etc...were all a blast BECAUSE SHIRLEY WAS THERE.Shirley you are a special person like no other.You took interest in every person you know and made a big impact in our lives.I will always treasure the lessons you have taught me and will forever keep your memory in my heart.
It was such a delight to chat with Shirley. I didn't have many opportunities to do so but those moments will always stand out as a privilege. What a treasure!
Shirley's daughter Betty