Folsom Funeral Service

Esthimer, Shirley

Esthimer, Shirley

Shirley Elizabeth (Garner) Esthimer, a resident of Hopkinton, and formerly of Walpole, died Monday, June 18, 2018 at the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility in Westborough.  She was 89.  Shirley was born June 26, 1928 in Norwood, MA, the daughter of Thomas Carlisle and Florence Ellen (Hayes) Garner.  She was the beloved wife of the late William F. Esthimer Jr., and dear mother of Steven, and his wife Nora, of Chapel Hill, NC, Keith, and his wife Carol Dubois-Esthimer, of Franklin, and Cynthia, and her wife Lisa Whittemore, of Hopkinton.  Dear sister of Allan T. Garner, and his wife Mary, of Tyringham, and loving grandmother of Katelyn Jean Dubois Esthimer and Wesley William Dubois Esthimer.  Shirley spent much of her childhood behind the soda fountain counter at her father’s Garner Pharmacy in Norwood.  There, she followed her father’s rule that “no child left the store without an ice cream cone”. Shirley graduated from Simmons College in 1950 with a degree from the Prince School of Retail.  She was a member of the Simmons Club. Shirley was an accomplished painter and exhibited her work locally.   She judged Walpole High School art shows, volunteered with her husband Bill at Medfield Hospital, and worked with the Walpole Arts Council and the Council on Aging. She was undeniably best known as a Walpole Community TV producer of “Art Space” and a New England theater critic.  Shirley launched her career at age 60 and produced over 400 shows.  She held numerous awards from the Northeast Video Festival, Hometown Video Festival and Walpole Community TV.   As a supporter of the arts, Shirley reviewed productions ranging from the Walpole Footlighters to Boston theaters.   Shirley endeavored to bring every aspect of the arts into the spotlight.  She loved her role as a judge for the Independent Reviewers of New England.  In her spare time, she wrote reviews for local papers. Relatives and friends are invited to attend Shirley’s Memorial Service  Wednesday, June 27th, 2018  at 10 am at the First Congregational Church, 100 Winter St, Norwood, MA 02062.  Private interment will be in Highland Cemetery, Norwood.  In lieu of flowers donations to the First Congregational Church (address above) would be appreciated.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Nora Esthimer
    June 20th, 2018 | 2:20 pm

    I remember meeting her in June 1970. She was young, lovely, and welcomed me with a great smile. Neither of us could know then that she was truly welcoming me to the family. I married her son, Steve, in May 1973. I appreciated her humor, creativity, love the arts, curiosity, and dedication to community, friends, and most of all family.

  2. Mary K Breeze
    June 20th, 2018 | 2:51 pm

    I am very sorry to hear the news about your mother-in-law. We are all thinking about you and all of your family. Take care and know that our best wishes are with you.

  3. Shirley Drechsel
    June 20th, 2018 | 5:14 pm

    Shirley and I shared a name, her love of the arts, and love of her family. She is a life force that will be greatly missed. Wayne’s and my thoughts are with your family as you process her loss and celebrate her life.

  4. Betty Wolfe
    June 20th, 2018 | 6:59 pm

    On her many trips to Steve & Nora in North Carolina, Shirley welcomed Esthimer friends with grace, curiosity and her theater critic’s eye. Blessings and peace and soul’s ease at this journey’s ending.

  5. Jeannette Young Le Chevallier
    June 20th, 2018 | 9:01 pm

    I have know Auntie Shirley for as long as I can remember. She and Uncle Bill were some of my parents’ closest friends. From the First Congregational Church in Norwood to Simmons Club activities and all the gatherings and events throughout the years, it seemed like the Esthimers and all three of the Esthimer kids were always a part of our lives. Auntie Shirl even watched over my three year old self while the rest of my family attended my older brother’s funeral.
    What an interesting and interested lady she was. She was always curious and always full of questions. Willing to try new things and not be afraid to fail. What a gift she was to us all. I know my Mom treasured her friendship greatly. Our deepest sympathies to the Esthimer family on your loss.

  6. Phil Garrity
    June 21st, 2018 | 5:37 pm

    Very sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. Carol and I will have you Carol, Wes and Katelyn in our prayers


  7. Frieda Omasta
    June 22nd, 2018 | 1:17 pm

    I am so very sorry to hear of Shirley’s death. She was a special person to me. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with her at the family get togethers throughout the years in Norwood, Walpole and the Deerfield area. Since we lived so far apart, I also enjoyed our lengthy phone conversations. I loved her so much and she will be dearly missed. Frieda (Hayes) Omasta

  8. Nancy Haigwood
    June 22nd, 2018 | 10:41 pm

    My husband Andy and my mother Nan were so lucky to have spent some fun evenings with Shirley at the NC Esthimer home, enjoying Nora’s delicious cooking and Steve’s inimitable wit and joy. Sometimes plus Cynthia and Lusa and our son Ben. Shirley and Nan got on famously of course because they loved their children and spouse fiercely. What a wonderful woman who will be remembered for her art, and for her love of life. Thank you Steve for sharing and love to all.

  9. Elizabeth Gay
    June 24th, 2018 | 4:22 pm

    First my condolences to Cynthia and Lisa, Steve and Nora, Keith, Carol, Katelyn and Wes. I am so sorry for such a great loss. My heart hurts along with you.
    Aunty Shirl or Gooch as I called her, and I go back to birth! I had the pleasure of growing up across the street and have so many wonderful memories throughout the years. Teaching me how to paint, make Stained glass and many other craft projects. playing dress up and routing through the attic finding treasures. I was on the local cable Boatd and got to assist with some Art Speace shows and even modeled on one! She was so dear to me and she will be missed. She was a mentor and my friend. One comfort is in the knowledge she will now be with Uncle Bill and my Parents. May they all be enjoying themselves and watching over all of us. I love you Gooch! Thanks for the memories. Xox Little Gooch aka Wee Beth

  10. Judy Korzenowski
    June 26th, 2018 | 8:02 am

    I had the pleasure of meeting & getting to know “ Shirl” through her daughter Cynthia. She was such a hot ticket! A few years ago I then had the privilege of helping her to sell her family home in Walpole. She was terrific to work with & I enjoyed every minute. Thinking of all of you! ❤️

  11. aimee doherty
    June 26th, 2018 | 11:40 pm

    She was a bright light in the New England theater community. We all will miss her. Shirley was the first person to ever review me in a show. I cliped the article and put it in a photo album. I have it to this day. I will miss Shirley. I’ll miss her occasional calls to see what I’ve been up to. I’ll miss bumping into her in the dairy section of Stop & Shop but I’ll carry her joie de vivre in my heart. May we all live such a beautiful and full life. Rest easy, Shirley.

  12. Robin Pease
    June 29th, 2018 | 7:50 am

    It was my pleasure to know and work with Shirle, Cynthia, Steven & Keith to make her as comfortable with her surroundings as possible. It especially was pleasurable to me to see her twinkling smile as she anticipated our time together. She added a touch of class as well as a dash of comfortableness. I only wish I had more time with her for her to share what sounds like a very wonderful life. Thank You Cynthia, Steven & Keith for sharing Shirley with me.
    Blessings & Comfort, Prayers she is enjoying her new adventures

  13. Kay Blaha
    July 7th, 2018 | 7:21 pm

    As a longtime member of Walpole Footlighters I remember Shirley with great warmth and admiration. We enjoyed having Shirley interview us on Artspace where she was always so knowledgeable about theatre (often knowing more than us) and would ask questions that made us look good.

    Shirley’s reviews were always generous and right on the mark. We loved having her in our audience. She was a ray of light to the Walpole community that will be greatly missed.

    Kay Blaha and the Walpole Footlighters

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service