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Shirley Hanson (Cooper) Lynch of Pepperell passed away peacefully on August 30, 2020 at the Apple Valley Center in Ayer following a period of declining health. She was 90 years old.
Shirley was born in Rumford, Maine on July 31, 1930 a daughter of the late Louis B. Cooper and Stella E. (Hanson) Haskell. Shirley was the loving wife of the late and great Thomas H. Lynch II.
Shirley spent her early years in Patton, ME. She loved the rich memories of her youth, both happy and sad. Her family survived a devastating house fire and Shirley had to live with neighbors for a while as the family worked at rebuilding their lives. During World War II, as the oldest child and in her true patriotic spirit, she and her friends did their part to help by climbing the town tower to watch for enemy planes. She would speak of food rations and hard times her community faced both during and after the war. She learned early on to take nothing for granted, embrace the love and joy of the little moments’ life gives. Shirley was a good mother, teaching her children life lessons learned with stories, patience and love, so much love. As a teenager her family moved from Maine to Massachusetts, calling Pepperell home. Her father obtained work at the mill. A strong man, capable of opening and closing the Nashua River water gate at the dam by hand. Her mother was a petite, strong and capable woman, working at Bemis and providing for her family. Shirley graduated from Pepperell High class of 1949. The yearbook reads, “Her sparkling dark eyes and deep laughter reveal her effervescing humor. Good-natured and friendly as a kitten.” Shirley obtained work at the local movie theatre that was located downtown Pepperell at the time. There she met the ever charming man of her dreams Skip, who she had the task of kicking out of the theatre for misbehaving and general tomfoolery. Go figure! Their love and good sense of humor brought seven children into this world. Shirley stayed at home and raised her young children. She showed us life does not end for a woman after kids. She went to work as a crossing guard when her youngest went into grade school. Shirley then went on to work at the Pepperell Braiding Company as a laborer. The owner quickly recognized Shirley’s strong work ethic and sparkling personality and wisely put her to task in sales. There she thrived and blossomed into the next stage of her life. Shirley worked her way to Vice President of Sales, traveling all over doing trade shows and giving speeches. Shirley gained much respect from both colleagues and clients. They were not just customers to Shirley, they became true friends. Shirley did her civic duty becoming the Election Officer-Warden in the mid 1980’s. A position she was very proud to take part in. Shirley, working full-time still gave of herself, taking care of family in times of need. She took her mother in to live upon the death of her husband. She brought her father-in-law in and nursed him back to health after a heart attack. She nursed her own husband Skip at his end of life. She took her mother-in-law in and cared for her in her time of need. Shirley was a giving and caring person. Upon her retirement from the Braiding Factory, Shirley embraced the quiet life. She loved her books, she loved her music, senior trips, weekly hairdresser visits and she loved her family and friends dearly. We will forever hold Shirley in our hearts. We honor her soul, forever grateful we traveled together in this life. Shirley will be greatly missed by those around her.
Shirley is predeceased by her brothers Roger L. Cooper and David W. Cooper. She leaves a sister Alma B. Haskell of Leominster. She leaves her children, daughter Patricia Dowling and her husband Pete of Manchester, NH; Daughter Karen Delaney and her late husband Jack of Pepperell; Daughter Mary-Jean Williams and husband John of Pepperell; daughter Kathleen Rhodes of Florida; daughter Linda Hubbard and husband Rich of Townsend; son Thomas H. Lynch, III and his wife Lori (her favorite daughter-in-law) and daughter Kristine Hartwell and her husband Charles Hartwell who was both son-in-law and dear friend. Shirley also leaves many loving grandchildren, great grandchildren and a great-great grandchild.
LYNCH – Shirley Hanson (Cooper), of Pepperell. August 30, 2020. For the safety of those we love and care about during this difficult time, funeral services will be private. Interment St. Joseph's Cemetery, Pepperell. Arrangements under the direction of the McGaffigan Family Funeral Home, 37 Main St., Pepperell, MA.
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