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Lula Belle (Everidge) Shirn

Lula Belle (Everidge) Shirn, 99, passed away peacefully at Putnam Farm Assisted Living Facility, Danvers, Massachusetts on November 15, 2018. She was born in Whitesboro, Oklahoma on December 16, 1918 to Pearl M (Cooper) and Edward Everidge. She was educated at the Goodland Indian School (now Goodland Academy) in Hugo, Oklahoma and graduated in 1938. She received her teaching degree from Southeastern Oklahoma Teacher’s College in Durant in 1942 and taught at Goodland School. In 1943 she joined the United States Coast Guard and served in Philadelphia as a typist, then in Boston, interviewing and testing sailors who were applying for service schools. From there she returned to Philadelphia where she was secretary to the District Engineer. It was there she met her future husband, the late George A. Shirn, and they were married on June 8, 1946. They were married for sixty-five years before his death in 2011.

Lu taught in Schenectady, New York, then in Williamstown, MA for many years, retiring in 1979. She was an outstanding teacher of reading and never stopped studying how children learn to read. She received her Master of Arts from North Adams State College (now MCLA) in 1966. She was the recipient of a Williamstown Teacher of the Year Award. Outside of her professional career, her life centered around her family and her faith, and she was a very active member of the First Baptist Church in Williamstown for over fifty years. For the last years of their lives, Lu and her husband were members and strong supporters of the First Congregational Church of Essex, MA.

After retirement, Lu enjoyed many hobbies and activities. Her sewing machine was never idle. Her talent with needle and thread were legendary and she made beautiful quilts for each of her family members. Never hesitant to try new crafts, she learned crewel and cross stitch embroidery, knitted and crocheted, and made many beautiful items that sold at her church fairs, including one year an entire collection of Cabbage Patch Dolls. She enjoyed drawing, painting, gardening and bird watching. Poetry was a major interest, and she wrote an entire series of spiritual poems she said “just came to me in the middle of the night”.

Lu’s father, Edward M. Everidge, was an original enrollee on the Dawes Rolls as a Citizen by Blood of the Choctaw Tribe. She was very proud of her Choctaw heritage and made certain that she, her daughters and her grandchildren were registered members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

She is survived by her daughters C. Victoria Harvey and her husband George of Essex, and Martha M. Barrett-Smith of Pelham, NH, her grandchildren Aaron Lee Harvey of California, John Everidge Barrett of Washington, DC, Dr Mary M. Barrett of Rochester, NY, and Dr Katelee V. Barrett Mueller and her husband Andre of Boston, a great-grandson, Louca George Mueller, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by seven brothers and sisters and her son-in-law, Richard Smith.

A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Essex, immediately following the 10:30am Sunday worship service on December 16, 2018, which would have been her 100th birthday. Friends and family are cordially invited. Interment with military honors will be private. Arrangements by the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. Memorial gifts may be made to the First Congregational Church of Essex Bell Restoration Fund, 39 Main Street, Essex, MA 01929.

 

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