Shirley T. Blakeley

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Shirley T. Blakeley, 87, a longtime resident of South Wellfleet, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family members, on May 14, 2014. Shirley was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1926, the daughter of Bertha Hersome, a descendant of two of the original Pilgrim settlers of Nauset, and Anstein Myhr, a Norwegian. Shirley grew up in Tewksbury, MA, and graduated from Tewksbury High School in 1944. She was married to Donald Eaton from 1946 to 1958, and to Robert Blakeley from 1959 to 1974. She moved to Wellfleet in the early 1950s and lived in her early nineteenth-century house (the former South Wellfleet General Store) on LeCount Hollow Road for over sixty years. Shirley, who waitressed for nearly three decades and had a sewing business before returning to college in her late fifties, was devoted to her community. She majored in gerontology at Cape Cod Community College and for eighteen years cared for the Lower and Outer Capes elderly as a social worker for Elder Services, retiring at age 78. An accomplished seamstress, Shirley tailored fine clothing for both men and women, running a business out of her home on LeCount Hollow while raising a family. She also waitressed at Chillingsworth in Brewster during the 1960s and 70s and served as a hostess at the Wellfleet Oyster House for fifteen years under the management of her friend Tony Castelo. An artist by avocation, Shirley quilted, painted, sewed, refinished furniture, arranged flowers, and dcoupaged. She loved to read, garden, and travel. When she wasnt working, Shirley often volunteered, answering hotlines, visiting shut-ins, or serving as a mentor. A longtime member of Alcoholics Anonymous, her door was always open to those in need, and she helped dozens of people through rough times by offering a room in her home and meals at her table. Shirley was an avid Red Sox fan. When her children were young, Fenway Park was a favorite destination. In later years, Shirley often attended games with her co-workers from Elder Services. She was a member of the Needlecraft Club in Wellfleet and of the Wellfleet Congregational Church, where several of her children were baptized and married. An excellent cook, Shirley was happiest when surrounded by family and friends, and she hosted countless dinners and parties over the years. Her home was the center of family gatherings for decades, and she will forever be remembered as the moving force behind her familys activities and celebrations. Shirley was predeceased by one of her children, David Eaton, in 2008; a grandchild, Jason Carlson, in 1992; a great-grandchild, Amanda Webb, in 2007; and her partner of over 40 years, Charles Heudes, in 2013. Shirley was a loyal, loving sister to Peggy Stone of Jacksonville, FL; the late Donald Myhr of Weare, NH; and her sister-in-law Bessie Myhr. Shirley is survived by six children: Paul Eaton (Suzi Henderson) of Wellfleet; Mark Eaton (Patti Eaton) of Lancaster, MA; Ruth-Anne Wyman of Florida; Thelma Blakeley (Mick Lynch) of Wellfleet; Cynthia Blakeley (Allen Tullos) of Atlanta, GA; and Elizabeth Duquette (Donald Duquette) of Centerville, as well as by nine grandchildren: Jacqueline, Spencer, and Travis Duquette; Lynn Eaton Baker; Julie Eaton Wiley; Becky Eaton Webb; Adam-Paul Iacovello; Jessica Wyman Blake; and Hannah Rose Blakeley. She also leaves twelve great-grandchildren; Meredith Blakeley and family; Judith Blakeley and family; Ruth Anne Dykeman and family; and many nieces, nephews, and devoted friends. A funeral service will be held on Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day), at 1:00 p.m. at the Wellfleet Congregational Church on Main Street. All are welcome.

Published in The Cape Codder from May 17 to May 24, 2014
Shirley T. Blakeley
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Nickerson Funeral Home
340 Main Street | Wellfleet, MA 02667 | (508) 349-3441
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