GILFORD — Shirley J. Snow, 95, passed away peacefully in her home on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Sadly, it was a month shy from celebrating what would have been her 95th birthday.
She was born in Manchester, the daughter of the late Hugh and Eleanor (Hope) Handyside. Shirley was married to her beloved and cherished husband, Wayne, for almost 70 years, during which they lived a life full of family, friends, community, traveling, cruises, and frequenting local area restaurants. Wayne predeceased Shirley, having passed away on Dec. 22, 2010.
Shirley and Wayne met while both were employed by the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. Upon Wayne's return from the Pacific Theater of World War II, having honorably and proudly serving his country in the Army from Aug. 24, 1942, until Dec. 4, 1945, as a staff sergeant in the 16th Signal Corps 6th Operations Battalion, they married.
In 1957, Shirley and Wayne moved into their forever home in Gilford Village, built by the late Frank Bolduc of Laconia, right in the heart of the village where they lived out their lives until their passing.
Shirley and Wayne had two children, Hutton Snow of Manchester and Sally Snow Bickford of Gilford. The family extended to their five grandchildren, Jon Bossey, Robert, Jonathan, Ryan, and Jamie Snow, along with spouses and great-grandchildren.
Shirley worked for many years for the Town of Gilford. She also served as the “lunch lady” at the elementary school and worked in the Gilford Town Hall, providing secretarial and support services.
Community service was an enormous part of her life. Wayne was a member of the Masonic Temple and also a member of the Bektash Shriners where he selflessly contributed to raising money and awareness for those in need, Shirley by his side every step of the way. She gladly helped in any capacity that she could.
Shirley greeted everyone with an infectious smile, a sinister laugh, a dirty joke, and a hug. She was the epitome of one that exuded warmth, care, and compassion. Those who visited were sure to leave with something she baked, something she canned or something she grew in her garden. No one was permitted to leave without taking something home to share with family and friends.
When Sally and her husband, Bill, opened Kitchen Cravings in Gilford, Shirley and Wayne were daily fixtures at table No. 1 every morning for breakfast, and greeted all patrons and town folk with a smile.
Shirley and Wayne were as iconic and historic as Gilford itself and were seldom apart. Wherever Shirley was, Wayne was not far behind — usually carrying something bought from a day out shopping. Their home in the village was a traditional gathering spot during Gilford Old Home Day. The lawn would be lined with chairs for anyone to sit, visit, or rest. Their garage was stocked with coffee and baked goods for all to share. All were welcome, whether she knew you or not. Shirley extended love and compassion to everyone she met without prejudice.
At this time, there are no calling hours or a date set for her service. Services and a celebration of her life will be in the spring and will be announced at a later date.
The family asks that, in honor of her life, you tell a loved one that you love them, that you reach out and hug a family member or friend, or perform a random act of kindness to a stranger or someone in need. Shirley lived her life loving and caring for others and nothing would honor her life more than paying it forward and being kind to one another.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant St., Laconia, is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.