Shirley Elsie Herr (nee Acheson), aged 93 years, peacefully passed away at Kingston General Hospital on Thursday, November 2, 2023. Born on October 1, 1930, to Marian and J. Ross Acheson, Shirley was raised and educated in Oyen, Alberta. She discovered her passion for music at the age of 9 and went on to achieve her grade 10 piano and theory levels during high school. Shirley not only played at school and church but also taught piano during her Grade 12 year. After graduating from Garbutt Business College in Calgary with a secretarial diploma, she worked for various life insurance and oil companies from 1951 to 1958 in Calgary.
In 1960, she decided to embark on a new journey and moved to the London, Ontario office of the Industrial Development Bank (IDB). It was during this time that Shirley met George Herr and they married on August 2, 1963. The couple was blessed with two sons, Kevin and Ian. After being a homemaker for 4 years, Shirley returned to work at IDB in April 1970. Later with her husband’s job transfer in 1973, the family settled in Brockville, Ontario. Shirley worked part-time for Probation and Parole Services before joining the HR department at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital, where she worked until her retirement in February 1994.
Shirley’s love for music extended to her involvement in the choir at Wall Street United Church for more than 20 years. Additionally, she played the piano for numerous services and events during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. After retirement, Shirley and George indulged in extensive travels across Canada, the USA, and various international destinations. When not exploring the world, Shirley enjoyed her hobbies including reading, puzzles, and maintaining connections with her friends and family. She and George moved into the Wedgewood Chartwell Retirement Residence in 2013, where Shirley continued to share her musical talents and warm nature. She was predeceased by her parents, stepfathers, mother, brother, sister-in-law, and her beloved son Kevin. Her husband George passed away in June 2018, leaving behind a huge void in her life. Shirley is survived by her son Ian, daughter-in-law Audrey, grandchildren Trevor and Charlotte, and her treasured “granddog” Riley.
Family and friends are invited to pay their respects at Irvine Funeral Home and Chapel in Brockville on Thursday, November 9, from 6-8 p.m. A ceremony celebrating Shirley’s life will take place in the chapel on Friday, November 10, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to Wall Street United Church are appreciated. Condolences and tribute donations can be made online at: http://www.irvinememorial.com.