Shirley M. Schrade

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Shirley M. Schrade, 92, of Waterview Farm, Oak Bluffs, died on June 22 at the home of her daughter in Jamestown, R.I.

Shirley was born in Springfield on Feb. 16, 1923, the daughter of George R. Merry and Delina Tilton Merry.

She was educated in the Springfield schools, and graduated in 1940 having been awarded Springfield Technical’s highest honor, the Charles F. Warner Achievement Medal. She was recognized for “her fine personality and participation in school life.” She married Frederick L. Schrade in 1943, and spent the war years traveling with Fred around the country while he served in the Navy. Her sense of adventure, curiosity about the world around her, and passion for travel was developed during these years of frequent moves.

They settled in East Longmeadow, where they raised their two children, Jon Fredric and Susan Elaine. Shirley was very involved in community volunteer activities, including the Wesson Maternity Hospital, Operation Head Start, the East Longmeadow Congregational Church, and numerous town projects. After spending 23 years with a wonderful group of friends in East Longmeadow, Fred and Shirley moved to Johnstown, N.Y. and then to Ridgefield, Conn., to accommodate Fred’s career advancement. In Ridgefield, Shirley loved her job as a bookkeeper and fabric consultant at a home decorating shop, where she discovered an aptitude for numbers and design.

The family vacationed annually on Martha’s Vineyard, creating many happy memories with family and friends, and decided to build their retirement home there. In September 1980, they celebrated their daughter’s wedding in their new house, and moved there permanently later in the year.

Shirley was very involved in the social network of the Vineyard. She was extremely active in her church community, the Federated Church in Edgartown, serving as president on many committees including the Unity Club, and received an Honorary Deacon Award in 2011 for her service to the church. She was a dedicated charter member of Chapter AN P.E.O., where she also served as president. She was the corresponding secretary for the Waterview Association, and was a member of Farm Neck Golf Club, enjoying her 9-holers group for many years.

Shirley loved to travel, entertain, and socialize with a cherished group of friends. She was also a voracious reader, and enjoyed her monthly meeting with her “book bunch.” She remained very active, and neighbors often saw her walking the loop of Waterview Farm, enjoying the serenity and beauty of the surroundings.

Survivors include a sister-in-law, June S. Carman of Springfield and Virginia; two children, Jon F. Schrade and wife Jackie Freeze of Rock Springs, Wyo., and Susan S. Seidler and husband Harold of Jamestown, R.I.; five grandchildren, Jill Schrade Channell and husband Robert, Matthew G. Schrade and wife Lisa, Julia M. Seidler, Amanda B. Seidler, and H. Alexander Seidler; five great-grandchildren, Alec and Marc Saxton, Samuel Channell, and Mason and Madison Schrade; a niece and three nephews: and cherished cousin and best friend Alma Loerke Stibolt and husband Hans.

Her husband of 63 years, Frederick L. Schrade and sister, Edna Merry Woodward, preceded her in death.

A memorial service in her honor will be held on Sept. 19 at 1 pm at the Federated Church on South Summer Street in Edgartown. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory to the Federated Church, P.O. Box 249, Edgartown, MA 02539, or to Gentiva Hospice Care of R.I., 2374 Post Road, No. 206, Warwick, RI 02886, will be appreciated.