Marion Henderson Shirley (nee Matheson) was born in Belfast Northern Ireland on March 13, 1920, the eldest child of Malcolm and Helen Matheson. Surrounded by her family, she passed away very peacefully in Trail BC on Sunday August 11, 2013.
The family emigrated from Scotland to Canada in 1929 and settled in central Alberta. In 1937, they re-settled on Vancouver Island where Marion graduated from high school. She earned her teaching certificate and started her teaching career in an elementary school on Vancouver Island. In 1942, Marion joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps- 1st Kinetheodolite Company, where she was trained in the control of anti-aircraft guns. She was posted to Halifax and served as a gun controller on the anti- aircraft defense ring until the end of the war. Post- war Marion attended the University of British Columbia where she obtained her Masters degree in Geography. She joined the Geographic division of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys in Ottawa, where she was took part in the agricultural surveys program. During field work in Saskatchewan she met her future husband, Bill Shirley, and they were married in the spring of 1958 in Victoria BC. They raised their three daughters, Helen, Ruth and Maggie on the family farm near Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. Marion and Bill were very active in the Anglican church and other community services in Shaunavon. They retired to Nelson, B.C. in 1981 and later moved to Castlewood Village, Castlegar, B.C. in 2002.
Marion was predeceased by her mother and father, and her loving husband Bill. She is survived by: sister Moyna (Bob) Fearnley of Vancouver, B.C.; brother Murray (Peggy) Matheson of Saanichton, B.C., daughters: Helen (Con) Griwkowsky, Sherwood Park, AB.; Ruth Shirley of Castlegar, B.C.; Maggie Shirley of Kelowna, B.C. and her grandchildren Catherine (Steven Willows) Griwkowsky of Edmonton, AB., Michael Griwkowsky of Sherwood Park, AB., step-grandson Fish (Dara) Griwkowsky of Edmonton, AB. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Flowers are gratefully declined, however, Marion asked for donations to be made to the Primate’s World Relief Fund. Funeral service will be held in St. David’s Anglican Church, Castlegar, B.C. on Saturday Sept. 7, 2013 at 11:00 am.