Wonderful, witty Shirley Carroll passed away peacefully on Aug. 16, 2022, at Sunrise at Pinehurst Assisted Living in Denver, where she lived for the past five years. She is survived by her loving daughters and their families: Lynn (Carroll) and Archie Fantozzi and their children, Maria, Colleen and Dom; Julie Carroll and Tom Fitch; Nancy Carroll and her daughter, Bridget Bidigare; and Jane (Carroll) and Stephan Andrade and their sons, Alexander and Sebastian.
Shirley was born on Oct. 10, 1932 in Stanley, Wisconsin, to parents Eileen and Paul Lee. She was the youngest of four children. Her siblings Bob, Gerald and Alice, preceded her in death. When she was in high school, the family moved to Milwaukee, where Shirley graduated from Lincoln High School. She became a secretary at Marquette University Law School, a job that would change her life. Shirley was outgoing and a bit of a flirt and she enjoyed the attention she received from the mostly male student body. But it was Charles M. Carroll of Detroit, Michigan, who captured her heart. When asked by her daughters why she picked their dad out of all those single law students, she replied that she knew she would never meet a nicer man.
Shirley and Chuck were married on Sept. 28, 1957, in Milwaukee and moved to Harper Woods, Michigan. Chuck served as president of Lincoln Mutual Casualty Insurance Company, a company founded by his father, while Shirley made a home and gave birth to four daughters. After youngest Lynn was born, the family moved to St. Clair Shores.
Shirley and Chuck were active in St. Peter’s Parish and enjoyed the friendship of many parishioners and neighbors. In addition to raising her kids, Shirley played tennis and took classes in English and auto repair. She and Chuck loved to golf and eventually purchased a cottage near Grand Bend, Ontario—close to good friends and across the road from a golf course. Many (too many to count) good times were had by family and friends at “the cottage.” There was always a card game going (Pepper and Solo were favorites) and Shirley often gathered family there, including family reunions for her Wisconsin and California relatives as well as Carroll cousins. Shirley and Chuck eventually retired there and Shirley cherished the small-town atmosphere.
Shirley loved kids—especially babies—and was a tremendous help to her daughters when their kids were born. She was famous for her quick wit and sense of humor. She also had a wicked sweet tooth. Among the many reasons Granny’s grandkids enjoyed spending time with her was her propensity to ply them with treats. Daughter Nancy recalled feeding her daughter Bridget whole-wheat bagels. When Bridget was three, Granny gave her a donut, causing Bridget to exclaim, “This is a really good bagel!”
Shirley is also survived by many nieces, nephews and friends, as well as her beloved cousins, with whom she corresponded her entire adult life through their “Buzzin’ Cousins” letters—a 73-plus-years tradition.
Shirley lived by her motto, “Life is short. Eat dessert first.”
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.