- Anne C. Shire (89 years) died peacefully on January 15th after a long illness with her husband Donald of over 64 years by her side. Anne was born on January 28, 1928 in Houlton, Maine to Roy and Doris Bither. Anne graduated from Colby College and completed her nurses training at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, MA where she met he future husband, Donald Shire. Anne had been a resident of Piper Shores in Scarborough, ME for nearly 15 years, but lived most of her adult life in Allentown, PA where she was a visible force in her community.
Annes passion and focus throughout her life was her family and friends along with service to others. Anne was an advocate for others from the developmentally disabled to abused and troubled youth. Her advocacy for troubled children and youth lead her to volunteer roles at Wiley/Valley Youth House in Allentown, now known as Kidspeace a non-profit providing care for troubled children and youth. Anne served as Valley Youth Houses President for 6 years where she led the establishment of long range strategic plans which provided greater financial stability and growth of its services and reach. Later Anne was instrumental in establishing The Fund to Benefit Children & Youth in Allentown to fill the service gaps not provided by local agencies in the Lehigh Valley. She was one of 5 founding members and served as trustee emeritus until her death.
Anne counseled developmentally disabled women to help them learn to live independently with pride and respect, often bringing them home for holidays, thereby introducing her children to a life of service. Anne was also active in the newly established office of Planned Parenthood of the Lehigh Valley becoming a volunteer counselor and board member. In her spare time Anne was an extremely competitive duplicate bridge player, volunteered for Meals on Wheels, and found time to participate in The Nurses Health Study for over 20 years.
Annes service was driven by her faith and her love for her church community. She was active both locally and nationally in the Episcopal Church, having been appointed to the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches in New York. As a member of the Church of the Mediator, Allentown, Anne served as a representative to the Episcopal Church of the United States. Her past service included being a member of the executive committee of the Lehigh County Conference of Churches, as well as a lay delegate to the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. Anne is credited with developing the clergy dialogues and instrumental in developing Consultation on Church Union. She was passionate about finding common points of intersection among different faiths to bring unity among them.
Anne is survived by her husband, Donald, 3 children and their spouses Jennifer Shire and Dale Lemke; Andrew and Suzanne Shire; and Daniel and Tabitha Shire. In addition she has 6 incredible grandchildren Emily, Dan, AT, Nat, Drew and Christi who look forward to celebrating her life and loves this summer in Jonesport, Maine, the familys summer home. Anne is also survived by her brother Thomas Bither and wife, Carol from Scarborough, Maine. Anne was preceded in death by her brother Roy Bither, Sr. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to The Fund to Benefit Children & Youth at 903 East Elm Street, Allentown, PA 18109.
Published on  January 17, 2018