After dealing with many health challenges in her life, with a strong will to persevere and to take care of those she loved, Shirley Ann Brumbaugh, 78, gave into her brave fight for the peace and comfort she well deserved on June 14, 2023, with her loving husband of 60 years, Tom, by her side. She can now walk with ease through the gardens and pathways of Heaven with her loved ones and the many pets that were waiting for her to join them.
Shirley was born July 26, 1944 in Altoona, PA to Lester and Frances (Hardman) Whestine.
She is survived by her loving husband, Tom, daughter Jacqueline Mayers, former son-in-law Andrew Mayers, grandson Nicholas and his wife Melissa, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lester and Frances Whetstine, brother Raymond Whetstine, and niece Brenda (Whetstine) Martin.
She married her high school sweetheart, Tom, on December 4, 1961. Even though motherhood came at an early age, she was a devoted mother who took loving care of their daughter by herself while Tom served his country in the Navy.
Shirley and Tom lived in Reedsville for 32 years in their log home alongside wonderful neighbors who became part of the family. For years they enjoyed breakfast with their numerous friends and the staff at Michele's Restaurant and looking for a good bargain at the flea markets in Big Valley on Wednesdays.
She was an extremely outgoing and social person, no one was a stranger to her. Her flair for life, creativity and caring nature always brightened up a tough day. She was known to always have words of encouragement and a compliment to everyone around her, never failing to let those she cared about know how proud of them she was and how special they were to her. She put everyone's needs above her own. She was an avid volunteer in life, with one of her favorites being a school crossing guard, stopping traffic with her own special flair!
Shirley was a fun spirited soul who took on many passions including crafting, knitting, crocheting and growing plants. But most of all she loved animals, owning many dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters. Even caring for the occasional abandoned kittens that seemed to show up at her house, finding them homes, and, of course, keeping one or two for herself. Her real passion was raising birds, especially canaries, and love birds, parakeets, finches and cockatiels. When she got too many she would gladly give them to a good home, cage and all, for free. She loved spending time in the spare bedroom she named the "Bird Room" and all her animals were spoiled and treated just like family.
She was a bright light in this world and will be missed dearly by all who knew her, but she would not want us to mourn her passing but to celebrate a life well lived. As she always joked and told us, "If you cry when I die I may just have to come back and haunt you." Those that knew her will always remember her strong spirit, sense of humor, kindness, creativity, endless faith and stubbornness to never give up. She would want us to be kind and encourage one another, help those in need, take care of our furry and feathered friends, smile through the tough times and enjoy a good laugh, it's the best medicine.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to your favorite charity or local animal shelter. A celebration of life will be held and announced at a later date.