OLD TOWN - G. Howard Shirley, 95, died peacefully on November 5, 2015 at Orono Commons. He was born June 30, 1920 in Old Town to George and Stella (Morrill) Shirley, the third of their five children.
He attended Old Town schools graduating from Old Town High School, class of 1938. He enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II and served as a medic at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He married Rita Pooler, also of Old Town, in June of 1940 and they raised their four children on French Island and enjoyed their camp on Pushaw Lake. He was very active in community life on French Island and in Old Town serving on many committees and in city government as a member of the council for 12 years. He was an active life member of the Elks Club Lodge #1287, Knights of Columbus 1st and 3rd Degrees, and the American Legion. He loved the outdoors, enjoyed hunting, fishing, going to the hunting camp and was an avid sports fan. Howard and Rita purchased the Orono Nursing Home in August 1965, while Howard was working at Prudential. He retired from Prudential Insurance Company after 20 years. Following retirement, he moved to Florida. After Rita's death in 1980, he married Annie (Richardson) Russell of Milo and Kensington, CT. He remained active during his retirement years by traveling and spending time with family. He was an avid card player with a special love for solitaire and cribbage.
Howard was predeceased by his wife Rita, and his siblings Beulah (White) Green, D. Craig Shirley, and Robert Shirley and step daughter Holly Hutchinson. He is survived by his wife Annie and his children Bill Shirley and his wife Karin of Sun City Center, FL; Richard Shirley and his wife Faye of Milford; Tom Shirley and his wife Lisa of Old Town; and Karen Madden and her husband Scott of Old Town; step children Gail Backus and her husband Ray of Orono, Jane Cayer of Berlin, CT, step son-in-law Robert Hutchinson of Sun City Center, FL. He is also survived by his brother Clair Shirley of Orono. Howard was also blessed with grandchildren, nieces and nephews who survive him and will cherish his memory.
The family of the Ol' Duffah wishes to thank those special people at Orono Commons for their care and for his enjoyment of daily activities, which enriched the quality of his life.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 AM Saturday at Parish of the Resurrection, Holy Family Church, Old Town. Interment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery. Immediately following the service all are invited to the Parish Hall for a light luncheon and continued fellowship. In lieu of flowers and carrying out Howard's wishes, donations may be made to the Holy Family Food Cupboard 429 Main St Old Town or to the Old Town Animal Orphanage P.O. Box 565 Orono, ME 04473.