Shirley Whiting Michael
EXETER - Shirley Whiting Michael died peacefully at The Ridge at Riverwoods in Exeter, New Hampshire at the age of 92.
Born to Chester and Gladys (McIlvin) Whiting, Shirley and her older sister Beth were raised in Merrimac, Mass. Shirley attended Bates College and earned her teaching degree from Keene State Teachers College in 1944. She taught in elementary schools in Newton, Mass. and Hanover, before marrying and raising a family. A resident of Durham for more than five decades, Shirley was married for 56 years to the late Joseph E. Michael, Jr., an attorney, judge, and professor at the Whittemore School of Business. They participated in many activities at the University and in the community, including athletic events, the arts, church programs, supporting local schools and organizations, and always cheering on their beloved Boston sports teams. They looked forward to hosting UNH alumni/ae at their annual Homecoming Party, and their doors were always open to visiting friends, family, and those in need. This same hospitality continued at their cottage on Crystal Lake, where they loved teaching a younger generation to fish, sail and water ski.
After her own children had grown, Shirley re-entered academia, earning a Master's Degree in English at the University of New Hampshire. Her passions for art, literature, literacy, and music can be seen in much of the work to which she devoted herself. She became a Docent at the University of New Hampshire art gallery and especially loved giving tours to groups of school-aged children.
Shirley performed with the Seacoast Singers, and both she and Joe were seminal members of the founding group of St. George's Episcopal Church in Durham. She was actively involved in the church Guild, the choir, and fundraising events, such as the annual Christmas Fair. Shirley was an active member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club of Durham and she also enjoyed the camaraderie of her Bridge Club.
For the past nine years, Shirley resided at The Ridge at Riverwoods in Exeter, where she continued to enjoy former activities and friends and where she went on to establish close bonds with new friends until the end of her life. Her family is extremely grateful to the entire staff at The Ridge for the compassionate, engaged, and individualized care they provided for their beloved relative. Her personal care assistants, Kate Clark and Kellee Larson, were also dedicated to Shirley's well-being and were instrumental in helping her navigate the challenges of aging.
She leaves behind her daughter, Christine Michael and son-in-law, Martin White of Salem, N.Y.; her son, Joseph E. Michael III and daughter-in-law, Susan Lavallee of Durham; and her grandchildren, Cameron Michael, of Durham; Aditep White, of Salem, N.Y.; Jonathan White, of Saratoga, N.Y.; and Carmen McCrudden, of Wynantskill, N.Y. She was also "great gram" to her five great-grandchildren - Natasha Groesbeck, Liam and Wyatt McCrudden; Catalina Michael and Storm Joseph White. She will be fondly remembered by many loving nieces, nephews and friends.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, December 13th at 11 a.m. at St. George's Episcopal Church in Durham.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
/ American Cancer Society
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Published by Foster's Daily Democrat from Nov. 21 to Nov. 24, 2014.