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Shirley Fitzgerald Gately


1926 - 2019
Shirley Fitzgerald Gately Obituary
Shirley Fitzgerald Gately passed away peacefully in her own home at 12:15 a.m. September 1, 2019, at the age of 93. Shirley was born in New Orleans on January 1, 1926, the first child of Isabelle and Cliff Fitzgerald. Because she was the first baby born in the city in 1926 she was given the key to the city. Her younger sister Joan and brother Cliff have predeceased her. At the age of 12 her family moved to Evanston, Illinois. They later moved to Winnetka where Shirley met her future husband, of 57 years, John Gately. They had five children, Joan, John, Cliff, Susan and Sarah. Shirley was a wizard in the kitchen. She delighted in cooking for the people she loved. She could make simple dishes delectable and she tackled complicated cuisine with the joy of discovery. Shirley and John made their comfortable home the heart of their family. No birthday went uncelebrated and there soon were many birthdays with children, grandchildren and spouses. Shirley was her children's champion. All friends were welcomed and asked for dinner. Dogs were tolerated, bruises soothed, conversation was always welcome. She was unfailingly generous with all that she had; time, money, friendship. A Vassar graduate, Shirley loved mental challenge and achieved a Master classification in bridge. She also had a Masters in Education from the National College of Education. She taught school for a year before she married. She loved to dance, had perfect pitch, adored gardening, and came alive at a party. She will be missed dearly. Services will be private.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Sept. 8, 2019
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