COLEMAN, Shirley Irene, nee Hockin - Peacefully at Highview Residences on January 15, 2019, in her 93rd year. Daughter of the late Helen Irene Spry and Lloyd Thomas Hockin. Beloved wife of the late John (Jack) McKenna Coleman (2007), and since 2008 partner of the late William (Bill) Robert MacGregor (2018). Shirley was also predeceased by her half-sister Betty (Hockin) Bolender of Elmira ON.
She is survived by her three children, Linda Mesheau (her favourite) of Sackville NB, Sharon (her favourite) of Beaverlodge AB, and David (her favourite) (Anne Wilson) of London ON. Beloved grandmother of Alanna, Tessa, Graeme, Carmen, Sean, Robert and Gabrielle; and great-grandmother of Bianca, Ava, Emmett, Kayden, Braelynn and Weston. Shirley is lovingly remembered by the MacGregor clan, several nieces and nephews, as well as her loving support team and family of friends at Highview Residences London.
Shirley was born in London on February 1, 1926, and grew up on Wellington Street. Many happy summers were spent horseback riding on the sands of Wasaga Beach. In high school during WWII, she took part in Canada's Farm Service program, and then earned a degree in Home Economics at Brescia College, University of Western Ontario (1948). Shirley and Jack first met on a double blind date -- but not as each other's date! They married in 1951. While raising her family, Shirley also kept active with sewing, gardening, cross country skiing, painting classes, snowmobiling, curling, golf - and of course bridge club and bowling with “the girls”. When she and Jack were not out enjoying a night of dancing at the Seven Dwarfs, she could be found with her apron on in the kitchen humming or singing a Frank Sinatra classic.
Once they retired, Jack and Shirley loved to travel, and made Florida their home during some of the colder months. Shirley was known for her amazing cooking and baking. If asked, however, her grandchildren would say their favourite was her famous brown sugar sandwiches. Over the years, Jack and Shirley enjoyed entertaining friends and family; but their real love was the cottage they built at Red Bay on the Bruce Peninsula -- and the sunsets they shared there. This is where they spent over 30 summers, surrounded by Shirley's favourites -- flowers (wild and cultivated) and hummingbirds. Shirley was an avid swimmer and always stylish with her bathing suits and bathing caps. Right up until Shirley’s passing, she never went a day without her lipstick. She had a love of fashion.
Although Shirley developed dementia, she was still very sharp, retaining her gracious and cheerful outlook -- and still correcting her grandchildren's grammar. Her family and children were her pride, and she loved spending time with them to share her tapdancing skills, gravy making tips, and baking -- often mailing her goodies to them on the east and west coasts. She loved making meals for them, laughing with them, and enjoying a cocktail before dinner.
Shirley lived a full life, one that will be remembered as what a life well lived should be, always enjoying life to its fullest.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Shirley’s life will be held in the spring. The family sends a special thank you to Highview Residences London for their wonderful care, and for being her final home and family. They also thank the incredible staff at University Hospital who provided such compassionate care during her many visits. In her memory, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of London-Middlesex, or to one of Shirley's favourite charities: the Canadian Wildlife Foundation or the Salvation Army of London ON.
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