We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Mitchell Funeral Home
Shirley J. (Salsman) Smith, 85, passed away on Sept 7, 2022. She was born April 23, 1937, in Worcester, MA to Abner and Edith (Dean) Salsman. She is survived by her daughters Aimee Smith and Arlana Smith, both of Easthampton, MA, a niece, Roberta (Salsman) Kravitz of Worcester, MA, several cousins, and other extended family. She was predeceased by her husband, the Rev. John R. Smith of Easthampton, MA, her parents, and brother Robert Salsman.
Shirley grew up in Worcester and graduated from The High School of Commerce in 1955. During her working life she held various positions, including Secretary for the Guidance Department at Hampshire Regional High School and Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Extended and Continuing Education at the University of Connecticut. She retired from UConn in 1997.
As a young lady, Shirley enjoyed the company of friends, cousins, other family, and her dog Teddy. She was an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Worcester, MA where she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and was active in Youth Groups. At the age of 16, she met her future husband John during a community outreach project washing windows at the then Lutheran Home for the Aged.
After her marriage in 1958, Shirley thrived as a minister’s wife, remaining flexible in multiple relocations, finally retiring to Dalton, MA and then Easthampton, MA in 2002. During these years, Shirley was devoted foremost to family, raising her daughters and centering family life around faith, holiday traditions, and vacations to see family and friends in Nova Scotia and Cape Cod.
During her time at UConn, Shirley developed a love of women’s college basketball having met several players as students. She also enjoyed the Celtics and listening to her favorite music. In retirement, she especially loved dinners out with her husband and spending time with her rescue dog, Hal.
After her husband passed away in 2010, Shirley stayed in her Easthampton home until moving in 2016 to an independent living apartment at Day Brook Village in Holyoke, MA where she enjoyed the company of her neighbors and weekly outings and holidays with her daughters.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at 10:00 am at Christ United Methodist Church, 271 Rocky Hill Rd (Route 66), Northampton, MA, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Dakin Humane Society, PO Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101