Mystic, CT - Shirley DeWolfe Avery, 82, of StoneRidge Retirement Community in Mystic, died Monday at home, surrounded by family and friends, after a four month struggle with cancer. Her husband, Deane C. Avery, a retired publisher of The Day, survives her.
Shirley was born May 22, 1926, in New Britain to Rollin and Vera DeWolfe. She grew up on Monument Street in the City of Groton, attended nearby Groton Heights Elementary School, and graduated from Robert E. Fitch High School in 1944. Shirley and Deane were married on July 26, 1952. Shirley had an inherent affinity for people and was known for her warmth, kindness and gentle personality. She seemed to like everyone and would greet her friends with a ready smile, a hug and kind words. She was well read, and kept up with current events, especially of the region, but it was her love of Deane, her family, and friends that was her foundation in life. Shirley was grateful for the affection of her son, for the selfless attention and care given to her by her daughter Karen, and for the love and devotion of her many nieces and nephews. Before moving to StoneRidge, Shirley and Deane lived for many years on their farm on Wolf Neck Road in Stonington, where they enjoyed gardening, their German Shepards and Morgan horses. Winters would find a wood fire burning in their historic cape. They were especially fond of downtown Mystic, and could often be seen riding their tandem bicycle on the region's scenic roads or rowing their classic white skiff in the Mystic River. They would take turns rowing each other about the river, and those who saw Deane leaning back and enjoying the ride would often tease him. Shirley had a love of nature, especially hummingbirds, and enjoyed painting wildlife. Shirley and Deane spent many years volunteering at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. Shirley loved going to the shore and had been a member of Shennecossett Beach in Groton since she was a young teenager.
In addition to husband Deane, survivors include a daughter, Karen Neild and husband, Bob, of Mystic; a son Latham Avery and wife, Beth, of Stonington; grandsons, Josh Brewster and wife, Amy, of Minnesota, Dean and Latham Avery Jr., both of Stonington; and her sister, and closest friend, Louise MacDougall and husband, Bob, of Groton. She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Donald King of Tallahassee, Fla.
Shirley was predeceased by her sister, Mary Jane King.
The family wishes to thank Shirley's many friends who provided love and support during this difficult time.
Donations may be made to the Avalonia Land Conservancy Inc., P.O. Box 49, Old Mystic, CT 06360, or to Hospice Southeastern Connecticut, 227 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Groton Congregational Church, 162 Monument St., Groton.
Byles-Groton Memorial Home is in charge of arrangements and please visit www.byles.com
for online obituary, directions or to send a condolence note to the family.
Published in The Day on 8/7/2008