Shirley Schagrin
1933 - 2021
Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home
56 Washington Street
Wellesley Hills, MA
Shirley (Ruston) Schagrin, formerly of Needham, MA and North Hill died on May 24, 2021 after a long battle with Alzheimers and Dementia that were accelerated by the impact of COVID quarantines and isolation. Shirley was born September 20, 1933 in Akron, Ohio. Shirley is pre-deceased by her husband, Morton L. Schagrin (2019); her father, Arthur Ruston; her mother, Helen (Nelson) Ruston; and her daughter-in-law, Florence Schagrin. Shirley is survived by her three children: Alissa (Schagrin) Keene (David) of Wellesley, MA; Stuart C. Schagrin of Amherst, NH; and Kenneth A. Schagrin (Sallianne) of Arlington, VA. She is also survived by seven grandchildren | Matthew Schagrin, Hannah Keene, Caroline Schagrin, Ruston Keene, Kyle Schagrin, Sarah Schagrin, and Samantha Schagrin. Shirley is also survived by her sister Ruth (Ruston) Hoffman of Akron, Ohio. Shirley graduated from Northwestern University in 1955 and earned a Master in Education from SUNY Buffalo in 1981. Shirley was a Special Education teacher from 1980 | 1996 and the Special Education Department Chairperson from 1989 | 1996 for the Silver Creek Central Schools in Silver Creek, NY. Shirley was also a remedial reading teacher there from 1974 to 1980. She taught English at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China in 1988 and 1997 and at the Chinese Academy of Science in Lanzhou, China in 1996. After Shirley retired in 1996, she worked as a Coordinator for the America Reads Program. She was also involved in the League of Women Voters in the various places she lived. After Shirley retired from teaching she traveled with her husband and loved exploring and immersing herself in different cultures. Throughout her life Shirley was an avid reader and particularly enjoyed reading about history and current events. She loved to read the NY Times with her coffee every day. Shirley was a devoted subscriber to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and enjoyed concerts at Tanglewood and Marlborough, VT. She appreciated live theater and held subscriptions to many of the local theaters. As the light flickered and Alzheimers stole Shirley's memories, Shirley created new memories from the fragments. During this time her greatest joy was her family. 'There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth, though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world even though they are no longer among the living. Those lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind' | Hannah Senesh The family would like to thank the incredible team at Beth Israel Deaconess-Plymouth Senior Behavioral Unit for the care, love, and compassion they provided Shirley in her last few months. Donations in Shirley's memory can be made to the Alzheimer's Association https: // and to the Children's Literacy Initiative . The family will hold a private ceremony for both Shirley and Mort Schagrin at a later date.
Published by The Needham Times from May 29 to Jun. 3, 2021.
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