Shirley was never afraid to try something new, so she marched forth, on March 4th, 2021, in her hundredth year with great anticipation for what the next stage might hold! Shirley was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Charles C. Peck, Jr. and Elizabeth Chambers Comstock on July 8, 1921. She met her future husband, Samuel Hillard Man, while he was a senior and she was a lowly sophomore at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. When Hillard graduated, he wanted to enlist in the Navy, but as one shoulder had been damaged at birth, he couldn’t pass the physical. Instead, he started by building military housing, later successfully building many other things. Shirley left Antioch and followed him to Newport News, Virginia, where they were married on October 17, 1942. Many years later, Shirley earned her degree in social services at the University of South Florida, in Tampa. She and Hillard lived many places over the years until his early death – he built housing in Puerto Rico (two different times), Spain; Allentown, PA, and other locations. She moved to Groton about 25 years ago to be able to assist in the care of her young grandchildren.
As time passed, Shirley learned to play the recorder (performing in a group), flute, and colonial fife. She learned to paint in oils and then watercolors, got her pilot’s license for small planes (they were part owners of a 2-seater when they lived on Long Island). She loved the outdoors, hiked and took long walks, learned to use a computer and played chess and Words with Friends on-line, used FaceTime and Skype until shortly before she died, loved birds and flowers, talked politics ‘til the end, bowled candlepins with a senior league, played golf (getting her first hole-in-one when she was about 90). She had an incredible variety of interests, including working on the Democratic Town Committee for many years. As a result, she has a huge circle of friends who continued visiting to the end.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Samuel Hillard Man and her younger son Richard Alan Man. Shirley is survived by her elder son, and his wife, John and Kanti Mann of Groton, MA; her daughter Kathryn Man Brickell of Falls Church, VA; her grandson Devlin Man and his fiancée Molly Olsen of Boston, MA; her granddaughter Nina Hardy and her fiancée Oliver Henderson of Brooklyn, NY; her goddaughter, Lutricia Neuse of Vermont; her “adopted sister” Judy Anderson of Groton, MA; and her many close friends.
She will be buried in her family plot at Olathe Memorial Cemetery in Olathe, Kansas. Her friends and family will hold a celebration of her life when the weather and COVID permit. The Shirley A. Man Memorial Scholarship will be established to help a young woman graduating from Groton-Dunstable Regional High School who plans to study the arts. Information concerning this will be available at the time of the memorial service. Arrangements entrusted to the McGaffigan Family Funeral Home, Pepperell, MA. Please see www.mcgaffiganfuneral.com for online memorial.