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Shirley McTernan

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Shirley Hoisington Mullener McTernan 1936-2012 On May 17, 2012 Shirley crossed over the "Rainbow Bridge" where she joined her past beloved felines. Shirley Hoisington (Mullener) McTernan was the daughter of Ernest W. Hoisington and Gloria Williamson Hoisington, both of whom are deceased. She was born at then Putnam Memorial Hospital in Bennington, Vt., on July 11, 1936. Shirley received her early education in Arlington and East Dorset schools. She graduated from Burr & Burton and then furthered her education at Lyndon Teachers College. She found her first teaching job at East Peacham, a one room two grade school. She remembers the Northeast Kingdom with great fondness. When working as a waitress at the Green Mountain Diner in Arlington she met Colbert Mullener. They married in 1961. During that time Shirley had moved to Fisher School in Arlington where she taught a number of years. She lived on the Kelley Stand Road with her husband and the black flies. After teaching a few years she realized that she really enjoyed working with individual children on a counseling basis. She then attended SUNY Plattsburgh in their counseling program from which she graduated in 1968 with a M.S. in Education. It was during this period that Colbert passed away so Shirley remained in Plattsburgh. She went to work for BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) and was a shared counselor in Lyon Mountain and Altona, N.Y. During that time Shirley got to know one of her professors, John W. McTernan, more intimately and they married in 1968. John retired from Plattsburgh State in 1972 and he and Shirley returned to the Kelley Stand to live. They remained married until John died in 1994. When Shirley returned to this area there were no counseling jobs available so she went to work for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). From that position she became director of the Bennington Opportunity Council. After a few years, that merged with Rutland and became BROC and Shirley stayed on as director for a while. The change in the political climate and the bureaucracy finally got to her and she resigned. She then met John Gregory and he persuaded her to "help out" once in a while at the Chocolate Barn in Shaftsbury, Vt., which he and his wife, Cindy, owned. Some seven years later and after John G's passing Shirley came to the end of "helping out" and stayed home. Shirley served on several committees in Bennington and the Arlington area. One that she enjoyed was what was then known as the Humane Society because of her love for animals, cats in particular. Shirley enjoyed gardening and generally being outdoors. She liked to go camping and did so for many years. She was an avid reader particularly enjoying mystery novels. She also liked putting things together such as furniture kits, Christmas decorations, etc. Though she was reasonably modest about it, she enjoyed her "15 minutes of fame" or more. Shirley, at the age of six, posed for Norman Rockwell and appears in one of his more well known "Four FreedomsFreedom From Want", the Thanksgiving dinner that wasn't there when she was! She was the little girl peeking around her big brother Bill in the upper left corner. As a result of those pictures she was among the group of models that went to Boston on a bond drive and got to be on WBZ Radio and stay in the Statler Hotel. She also got to witness a black out for an air raid. It all was a pretty big deal for a little kid from VT. She was credited with selling hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of bonds to help the war effort. Shirley also modeled for Mead Schaeffer and appeared on the cover of the November 23, 1944 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. Shirley was pre-deceased by her parents, brothers Paul and William and sisters Phyllis Cross and Doris Chase. She is survived by nieces and nephews as well as her close friends whom she considers her extended family and of whom she is very fond, which included Paul Cross, husband of the late Phyllis Cross, with whom she shared many humorous conversations. Last but far from least there is her sweet cat, Leo, who kept her company and loved her as much as she did him. There will be a celebration of Shirley's life at her home on the Kelley Stand which she hopes will be attended by her friends and neighbors. Shirley enjoyed a good laugh so don't be somber! There will be an announcement in the Banner. If friends desire contributions in memory of Shirley may be made to any animal group of your choosing through the office of the Mahar and Son Funeral Home 628 Main St. Bennington, VT 05201. Guest book condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net

Published in Bennington Banner on May 21, 2012
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