Shirley Baressi

Shirley Baressi, a resident of Sun City West for over 35 years who moved back East four years ago to be near her children, has died at the age of 92 years in West Chester, PA peacefully surrounded by her children. Shirley was known for her fun-loving personality, a generous heart and a smile for everyone. She was born and raised by Roy and Cleo Sommerhof in Erie, PA and received her Bachelor's in Science degree from Mercyhurst University.
Shirley was a trailblazer: She became the first woman Executive Director of the American Heart Association in Erie; the first woman President of the PA Township Secretary's Association; and became a nursing home administrator of a 400-bed County Home spearheading reforms for compassionate care. During her retirement in Sun City West, she founded a "Handicapables Club" to advance recreational services to retirees facing physical challenges and raised funds for a pool lift so those in wheel chairs could enjoy the water and she even taught Water Aerobics well into her eighties.
Her eight grandchildren remember her fondly as "Grandma Zona" with visits at Sun City West. They have given her five great-grandchildren. Her four children, Linda, Jack, Jodi and Paul remember a mother who taught them to live the Golden Rule, to love life, to find humor when you feel most down, to pick yourself back up and know, as she told them many times, "This, too, shall pass."
Condolences to family members may be sent to: Linda M. Rhodes, 1690 East Strasburg Rd., West Chester, PA 19380

Published in NewsZapAZ on Aug. 1, 2018