WHITBY, Shirley Mae
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Shirley Mae Whitby of Regina, passed away peacefully in palliative care at Toronto East General Hospital after a long battle with Alzheimer Disease on Monday, February 18, 2013 at the age of 84. Shirley is predeceased by her husband of forty one years, Jim, in November of 1993; her parents Robert Ernest and Margaret Olive McIntyre of Yorkton and her sister Margaret of Winnipeg. Shirley is survived by her children Patricia Irwin (Dave) of Wayzata, MN; Joan Whitby Eistetter of Sechelt, BC; Jim (Leslie) of Philadelphia; Tom (Ana) of Toronto, and Scott (Leisa) of Calgary. Shirley cherished her many grandchildren, first among them Lindsay Eistetter Davison of Sechelt and Michael Eistetter of Toronto; Kennedy, Zachary and Davis Whitby of Calgary; Connor and Allison Whitby of Philadelphia. Also surviving are her sister Marion of Regina and her brother Robert of Edmonton. Shirley was born in Melville, Saskatchewan on September 13, 1928. Shirley was raised during the "Dirty Thirties", The Great Depression as well as World War II. She attended schools in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. After graduating high school Shirley was hired for administrative work at Saskatchewan Government Insurance in Regina. Shirley and Jim Whitby married on December 29, 1951 in Regina. With the birth of their first daughter Patricia, in January of 1953, Shirley took on the role of full time mother. Twins Joan and Jim followed in May of 1955 growing the family to three children while Tom was born in April of 1960 and Scott in February of 1967 to complete the family. Shirley was a great cook and loved making meals for her family. Her children were never without a batch of home-made cookies or some other dessert and no doubt that memory still lingers fondly today. Shirley had an outgoing and gregarious personality and was a good friend to many. Shirley and Jim enjoyed socializing with friends and neighbors; attending football games and entertaining at home for special occasions and the holidays. While raising her children she took up the game of golf for the opportunity to spend time with her husband, friends and sons. Over a very short period Shirley learned the game and became a Club Captain of both the Nine Hole and then Eighteen Hole Ladies Leagues at The Wascana Golf and Country Club. Shirley accomplished a Hole In One at her beloved Wascana and the trophy was symbolic of the many happy times spent there. Shirley was proud of her children and wished the best for them. She supported and watched them as they attended college, married and had children of their own, developed successful careers and sadly moved away from home. When Jim passed away in late 1993, Shirley rebounded the following year and began to enjoy life through travels across the continent and around the globe to be with her children and grandchildren. Shirley considered her children to be her best life accomplishment and as such never retired as their mother. Unfortunately, Alzheimer Disease began its long steady battle with Shirley in her mid-seventies. Shirley was eventually moved to live in Toronto for her care and proximity to her son Tom who along with her other children watched over her in her final years. After cremation, the family will hold her ashes until a memorial service in Shirley's memory in Regina sometime this summer. At that time Shirley's ashes will be interred in her final resting place alongside Jim at Riverside Memorial Gardens.
Published in The Regina Leader-Post on Feb. 21, 2013