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Shirley Jones Schirmer

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Shirley Jones Schirmer Obituary
Shirley Jones Schirmer

7/22/1925 ~ 9/3/2012

Bainbridge Island, Washington. Beloved wife, mother, aunt, sister, and grandmother, Shirley Schirmer died peacefully in her home on Labor Day concluding a life of music, travel, family, and friendships. Her loving husband David W. Schirmer preceded Shirley in death. She is survived by her four children; Carol, David, Michael (Lisa), and Richard (Julie). She leaves behind six grandchildren: Andrew, Nathan, Daniel, Nicholas, Alex, and Jonathan.

Born in San Francisco, Shirley developed a keen interest in the piano at an early age. She played in many recitals and competitions for scholarships. In her teen years, Shirley won a highly coveted scholarship to study with Maxim Schapiro in San Francisco, becoming a virtuoso performer in the classical music genre. During the war, Shirley tested aviation fuel at the Standard Oil Refinery in Richmond, CA. She also performed at local dance halls and cabarets throughout the Bay Area. After the war, Shirley travelled to Alaska to visit her Uncle "Jonesy" who owned the Aurora Lodge in Fairbanks. It was there, while playing piano that Shirley met her husband Dave, a pilot for Woodley Airways. They married in Anchorage May 13, 1951. Shirley performed music on two radio programs and with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra while living in Alaska. After moving to Seattle in 1953, Shirley worked at raising four young children, gourmet cooking, decorating the family home, and entertaining family and friends with large gatherings especially during 4th of July and Christmas celebrations. Shirley maintained her piano playing talent coming out of retirement for a special performance with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra in November, 1960. The highly promoted event was a smash success with many national and international dignitaries in attendance. When husband Dave retired from Western Airlines in 1978, the couple moved from Mercer Island to Bainbridge Island. They joined Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church and remained steadfast members for the rest of their lives. Shirley remained very active to the end. She was a member of the Bainbridge Island Republican Women, she travelled, played music, read many books, spent time with family, friends, and church activities. Following the passing of her husband in 2005, her interest and devotion to her children and grandchildren was at the center of her life along with her Mariner's church group, and always, the music.

A memorial service will be held at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church Saturday, September 29th at 11:00 a.m.

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Published in The Seattle Times from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26, 2012
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