Obituary of Shirley Eva Phillips
MERCER - Shirley Eva (Brassard) Phillips passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 6, 2023, with her family by her side. She was 85. Shirley was born on April 16, 1938, in Lowell, MA, to Henry Joseph and Madeline Clara (Boyce) Brassard.
She grew up in Tyngsboro, MA and graduated from St. Michael’s in Lowell, MA. She married her late husband, George (Jerry) Phillips on August 22, 1967. They resided in Candia, NH before building their home in Mercer, ME. Shirley was a resident of Mercer for 39 years.
She held various jobs throughout her life. She was a seamstress for New Balance, as well as Dirigo Stitching. Later in life she had a trucking company known as Phillips Transport. She was also a hostess/door attendant for many years at the Melody Ranch in Fairfield, ME. For the last decade she was a dedicated caretaker, providing comfort and care to many, including her dear friend, Bethany Vigue.
She loved to sew and knit, and many people have been blessed with a pair of her “Shirley Socks”. She was still knitting just prior to her passing, giving many nurses, doctors, and other medical staff a scarf, headband or a pair of her well-known socks.
Shirley loved nature. She was an avid hunter right up into her seventies. Fishing, canoeing, snowshoeing, gardening, bird watching or just sitting outside or beside a window enjoying the sunshine. Shirley enjoyed the outdoors.
She also loved to cook and bake, as the many cookbooks she owned would show.
Shirley was also a lover of animals, especially her dogs. Each one leaving a special place in her heart. She also enjoyed traveling. She kept an atlas in her car and enjoyed taking rides on the backroads of Maine, usually with one of her dogs as a passenger.
Shirley loved music. She was a member of the American Legion and enjoyed gathering with friends on Saturday nights. Working at the Melody Ranch allowed her to get to know many local bands, Steve & the Good Ole Boys being one of her favorites. She loved playing her CDs or having the radio on.
Known as Grandma in the Woods to her family, Shirley had 5 children, 13 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. Besides her husband Jerry and her parents, she was pre-deceased by her brother William Brassard Sr. and her daughter Ann-Marie Burgess. Shirley is survived by her children, daughter Joanne Popoloski and partner Paul Riggi of Revere, MA, daughter Susan Kenyon and husband Rob of Londonderry, NH, son Joseph D’Agostino and wife Colleen of Wilmington, MA, and son Michael Phillips and wife Kari of South China, ME. A brother Hank Brassard of Lowell, MA; as well as her grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends that she considered family.
The family would like to thank Beacon Hospice, Heritage Rehab and Living Center and MaineGeneral for their care of their mom.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Massachusetts with family and friends. Shirley will be buried alongside Jerry at the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Augusta. Arrangements are under the care of Direct Cremation of Maine, Belfast, ME.