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
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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