Today, Marilyn and I have been fortunate and honoured to attend the funeral of Shirley White. Shirley has been associated with Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir since the early 1950s as her husband John was the longest serving chorister the choir has ever had, a stalwart of the 1st Tenor section. Shirley was a key member of the choir Supporters’ Group and a valued friend.
This extract from the service was written by Karen Unwin, a friend of Julie Mason, one of John and Shirley’s daughters, and says exactly what Julie wanted to say, expressing the high regard in which Shirley was held.
“Shirley was a unique lady, a real personality, who told it as she saw it. She had the qualities of a leader with the added extras of integrity, a generous spirit, and a very kind heart – she had such a positive attitude to life. I am a richer person for having met Shirley. She was a true stalwart, loyal, reliable, strong and brave.”
Married to John for over 60 years, Shirley had a very full life and she adored all her family; Mandy and Julie, their two daughters and particularly her grandsons, she will be sorely missed by all of them.
Here are just some of her associations with others and groups around Mansfield. Member of the Co-operative Drama Group, members of the Baptist Church, Mansfield where she started a youth club, member of the :Labour party, The Trefoil Guild (Guiding for Adults), Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir Supporters’ Group and a member of St. Augustine’s Church, Mansfield. Guiding was her passion and she will always be known as “Captain” having led camps and expeditions for generations of children in the area.
Shirley always chose to sit right at the back of any concert venue she attended with the choir because she always said that you could hear the performance much better from a distance. At her funeral today the choir was able to contribute through our CD “In Harmony” as two songs were played – “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “How Great Though Art”. It was as if John sang to her!
Shirley was funny, attentive, 100% reliable, tolerant, curious, hospitable, generous, a music lover, frank, ironic, empathetic, sarcastic at time, but never mean.
Here are some comments from our choir members:
Sad to hear about Shirley. We were both born at Bull Farm so I knew her from childhood. Condolences to Mandy and family.
Les and Beryl.
Goodbye Shirley xx Another end to an era of a special couple…Their faith in God was an example to us all…. A sad loss….. Love to the family….
So sorry to hear of Shirley’s passing. She was lovely caring lady. Condolences to her family
Maddie and Tony Pearson
So sad, at least she is now free of pain and distress. Love to the family,
Shirley and John contributed in so many ways to our choir. This year has been a mix of sadness and joy. As Ian G says Shirley is free of pain and distress. Our condolences to Mandy and family.
Sad news about Shirley. Condolences to Mandy and family.
Aileen and Barry Robinson.
That’s so sad yet another one leaves our fold we’ll remember her in church tomorrow thoughts are with her family.
Oh no that’s awful news my condolences to Mandy and the family.
Sorry to hear the sad news of Shirley’s passing, sincere condolences to Mandy and family
Sue and I are so sorry to hear of Shirley’s passing.
I was sorry to hear the news about Shirley. Shirley was a great supporter of the choir and will be missed.
Condolences to Mandy and the family.
Rest in peace, good friend.