Shirley A. Eriksson
Dec. 25, 1929 – June 27, 2019
Shirley Anne Eriksson, 89, passed peacefully into the loving arms of her Lord on Thursday, June 27, 2019 in Sebring, Florida, surrounded by family.
She was a 1947 graduate of Solvay High School, near Syracuse, New York, where she met the love of her life, William (Will) Eriksson, with whom she spent over 62 years until he passed away in 2012. Following high school, she became a teller at Solvay Bank before leaving to raise a family on their farm near South Onondaga, New York.
Volunteering was important in her life. She was with the Ladies Auxiliary of the South Onondaga Volunteer Fire Department (where Dad was a volunteer fireman) and a 4-H leader in sewing, cooking and baking. Shirley was well known for her delicious food and used the garden and a patch of rhubarb in the spring to make wonderful pies.
Shirley was also a volunteer for almost three decades at Community General Hospital in Syracuse where she helped at the front desk, the gift shop and in the surgery waiting room.
Both Shirley and Will were devout members of First English Lutheran Church in Syracuse, New York where they made many lifelong friends through Luther League. They attended Amber Congregational Church in Marietta, New York when they were home in the summer. They finished at Spring Lake United Methodist Church in Spring Lake, Florida, where Shirley was awarded Woman of the Year by the United Methodist Women for her tireless volunteer work and wonderful alto voice in the choir.
Dedicated to her family and a lover of sports, she attended almost all of our sporting events in high school, which may have been what spurred her to take up golf later in life. She joined Tanner Valley Golf Course in South Onondaga, where she had several holes-in-one and became Women’s Club Champion several times. Another hole-in-one occurred in Florida and her husband Will knew about it even before she got home and that was before cell phones existed.
Shirley enjoyed their trips to Buffalo to watch the Bills and to Montreal for the Canadians, but Yankees baseball was her passion. She watched almost every game, keeping track of wins and losses, and expressing her continued frustration in their choice of closing pitchers. When she passed away, she had on her favorite Yankees pajamas.
She and Dad instilled the love of travel in us, driving our camping trailer all over the Eastern U.S. They were avid members of the Potluck Nomad’s camper’s club. Later in life their travels became broader, to Nova Scotia, England, (for her favorite show in London, “Les Miserables”), Amsterdam, Sweden and lots of beautiful places across the entire U.S. and Canada.
Shirley loved bingo, bowling, playing cards with their Saturday card club, completing her two crossword puzzles every morning and, of course, the Yankees.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Elizabeth Jane “BJ” Paris; and her brother, Meyers “Kay” Kuhns and his wife Sonja, along with their son, John Kuhns.
She is survived by a brother-in-law, Charles Paris; two nieces, Debra (Tom) Harmeyer and Linda (Paul) Troia; along with two nephews, Greg (Joanne) Paris and Jeff (Jo Ann) Paris, with their daughters, Christine and Katherine; daughter, Jill Eriksson; and sons, Steve Eriksson (Karen Wolf) and Mark (Sharon) Eriksson.
She is also survived by granddaughter, Melissa (Pat) Dougher, with great-granddaughters, Ivy, Chloe and Melissa; and granddaughter, Laura (Robbie) Sweetapple, with great-granddaughter, Rosie, and step-great-grandson, Bentley; and grandson, Marcus (Stacie) Eriksson, with great-granddaughters, Anna, Ellie and Charlotte (Charlie).
A small memorial will be held in Syracuse at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the South Onondaga Fire Department, 3130 Cedarvale Road, Nedrow, NY 13120.