Shirley Burdett Simmons nee Harlow
July 19, 1938 - April 30, 2022
It is with a sense of sadness that the family of Shirley Burdett Simmons, of Garden Home, Charlottetown, P.E.I., announce her peaceful passing on the evening of April 30, 2022.
Born in North Brookfield, Queens County, Nova Scotia, Shirley was the eldest daughter of the late Moody Harlow, and Joyce (March) Harlow Wight.
Shirley attended North Queens Rural High School in Caledonia, Queens County, Nova Scotia, and finished her high school in the former United Baptist Training School in Moncton, New Brunswick, which served as both a secondary school and as a Bible School. This institution is now Crandall University. After completing her education, Shirley moved to Halifax, N.S., where she was employed with the Government of Nova Scotia in the Dept. of Attorney General as a file clerk. Later she moved on to work for the Canadian Red Cross Services, Farmers Dairy, and in the Emergency Dept. of the V.G. Hospital as a receptionist/dispatcher, which proved to be her favourite job.
After moving to Prince Edward Island, and marrying Ray Simmons on February 9, 1979, Shirley worked as a dental assistant for a period of time, and as a desk clerk in a hotel. Her last job was that in a message/call centre, which she liked very much.
Shirley was not a well person, having contracted rheumatic fever at the age of nine years. During that time, she learned to knit and became an excellent knitter, knitting beautiful baby sets and even a Mary Maxim sweater.
Shirley was a wonderful cook, making mouth-watering shredded wheat bread, and a good pot of baked beans. She often entertained family who came to the Island for a visit. Shirley was an ardent reader and enjoyed all types of books and authors. She especially enjoyed her TV shows, and planting and caring for her garden.
Shirley and Ray enjoyed going on trips, camping and clamming, and in the days before Shirley went to the nursing home, after Ray passed away, she loved telling stories about their adventures. Ray was the love of her life, and she missed him every day after his passing.
Over the years Shirley learned to love P.E.I. and was proud to call it home. She loved the beaches and having a cook-out on the beach, especially lobster.
Shirley was a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church. She loved her church and was there for many years. She loved the Lord very much.
Shirley is survived by her brothers, Les Harlow, Halifax, N.S.; Stephen (Robyne) Harlow, Lawrencetown, N.S.; sisters: Ethel (John) Beers, New Minas, N.S.; Cora Aulenbach, Bridgewater, N.S.; Audrey Evans, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta; and Grace Gillighan, Port Lorne, N.S., and many nephews and nieces. She is also survived by stepdaughter, Karen Taweel; and her family.
She was predeceased by her husband, Ray Simmons; her parents; brothers-in-law, James Gillighan, Lawson Aulenbach, and Derek Evans; and sister-in-law, Emma Harlow. She was also predeceased by her stepfather, Donald Wight, and her stepbrothers, Charles and Andrew Wight.
The family would like to wholeheartedly thank Shirley's chosen family, Pam and Allan Cullingworth, and their daughters, Allison and Keira, for all their love and support shown to Shirley throughout the years, especially being there for her at the Garden Home when we could not be there. Shirley loved this family like her own, and often referred to them as “her special family”.
Noteworthy thanks go out to her friends, Jorgen and Marie Nissen, Ruth Dockendorff and Dana Ingersoll, who became very dear friends to her.
Our sincere thanks to the Garden Home for their care and concern for Shirley while she resided with them for the past number of years.
Resting at MacLean Funeral Home Swan Chapel from where the service will be held on Saturday, May 14 at 10:00 a.m. conducted by The Reverend Dana Ingersoll. Interment in the Peoples Cemetery. If so desired, donations in Shirley’s memory may be made to Cornerstone Baptist Church, the Garden Home, or a charity of choice. Visiting hours Saturday, May 14 from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service. Online condolences may be made at www.macleanfh.com