Shirley M. York (1929 - 2019)

8 entries
  • - MARTHA BIRD
  • "Very sorry to hear of Shirley's passing. My condolences to..."
    - Barry Peaco
  • "My sincere condolences to Kim and her family. May the..."
    - Karen Hartman
  • "so sorry about your loss. the prescott family grew up with..."
    - bruce Prescott
  • "My sympathy to Shirley's family. I enjoyed my time with..."
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Service Information
Conroy Tully Walker Funeral Homes and Cremation Services
172 State Street
Portland, ME
04101
(207)-773-6511
Visitation
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Conroy Tully Walker Funeral Homes and Cremation Services
172 State Street
Portland, ME 04101
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Service
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
7:00 PM
Conroy Tully Walker Funeral Homes and Cremation Services
172 State Street
Portland, ME 04101
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Prayer Service
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
9:15 AM
Conroy Tully Walker Funeral Homes and Cremation Services
172 State Street
Portland, ME 04101
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Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
10:00 AM
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
307 Congress St.
Portland, ME
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Burial
Following Services
Calvary Cemetery
South Portland, ME
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Obituary

PORTLAND - Shirley M. York, formerly of Elmwood Street, Portland, passed peacefully on May 5, 2019, with her entire family at her side. She was born on Jan. 11, 1929, in New York City, the daughter of Edward and Mary McBrady McEwen.

Shirley moved to Maine as an infant when her father passed unexpectedly. Due to her mother's poor health, she resided at Holy Innocence and later the Portland Children's Home from the ages of 2 to 12. Following her education at local parochial schools, she began working at National Biscuit where she honed her exemplary work ethic.

On March 25, 1957, Shirley was wed to William L. York in Portsmouth N.H. Soon after their marriage they started their family and lived in several places in Portland before purchasing their family home on Elmwood Street. In 1974, Shirley's strength was tested following the unexpected death of her husband and she then took on the role of both mother and father of her young family. Her main ambition was to ensure her children felt love and unity. "Family First" became the central focus for the remainder of her life. During this period, Shirley invited her beloved friend Sarah "Sally" McNeil to live with the family. For the next 45 years these two women became an inseparable team. Sally was always there when Shirley or the family needed her.

Shirley supported her children in their academics and was a regular at their athletic activities. She enjoyed vacationing with her family, especially at Sebago Lake. She loved her children fiercely. Her focus was on them and making memories for them as that was most important to her. She was the lioness for her children.

Shirley treasured being a mother and a home maker. She took great pride in her home. She welcomed all who entered her home, for parties, dinners, and get togethers. She was known for her quick wit and hysterical humor. She had the ability to make all of her guests feel welcome. Christmas Eve was particularly special to Shirley, her family, and her many friends. She was known for exemplary knitting skills and made many Christmas stockings for multiple generations of family and friends. Those who received these stockings still cherish them today.

Shirley was known as a strong and fiercely independent woman. She was often seen as the "foreman" on major home remodeling projects--demolition, millwork, decorating, organizing and gardening were in her blood long before HGTV was a household name.

As Shirley's children grew, she welcomed the opportunity to return to the workforce at St. Joseph's Motherhouse. Her sense of humor and warm personality often brought smiles to the many Sisters of Mercy and staff at the Motherhouse.

In later years, the addition of her two grandchildren, Brett and Katie, made her an extremely proud and happy grandmother. The close bond she had with Brett and Katie helped to keep her young, in mind and spirit. During the last few years of her life, the addition of her two great-granddaughters, Giorgia Gagnon and Madison Rideout, brought her even more joy.

She is survived by Sarah "Sally" McNeil, her good friend of 45 years; her four children, Kimberly York and her wife Lori Nelson of West Newfield, Kelly Crawford and her husband Christopher of Windham, William York and his husband Sal Usman of San Diego, and Mary York and her wife Heather of Biddeford; two grandchildren, Brett Gagnon and his wife Abby of Switzerland, and Katie Rideout and her wife Courtney of South Portland; two great-granddaughters.

Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, May 7, 2019, from 4 – 7 p.m. followed by a Time of Reflection led by her son, William York, at 7 p.m. at the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland. Prayers will be recited Wednesday, May 8, at 9:15 a.m. at the funeral home followed by a 10:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St., Portland. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland. To view Shirley's memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ConroyTullyWalker.com.

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 6, 2019
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