With great sadness and heavy hearts, we bid farewell to an infinitely beautiful spirit. Shirley King, age 81, of Thunder Bay, shuffled off this mortal coil and left pain and cancer behind her at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Shirley was born on June 9, 1937 in Waldhof, Ontario to Hellmuth Franz and Emeline (Von Thaden) Franz. She attended Eagle River Public School and Dryden High School. In 1955, she entered the Port Arthur General Hospital School of Nursing and graduated in 1958. By a twist of fate and a rearranged blind date, Shirley met a true gentleman and the love of her life, Howard King, and the two married on July 21, 1960. Their marriage was truly a great love story, and they soon welcomed the birth of a daughter, Sherry.
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Throughout her life, Shirley was a devoted member of St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church where she chaired the property committee and was instrumental in establishing the memorial garden. Shirley was a life member of Beta Sigma Phi and the Port Arthur General Hospital Ladies Axillary. She served as President of the General Hospital of Port Arthur Nurses Alumni, and their efforts led to the establishment of the Lakehead University Port Arthur School of Nursing Alumnae Endowment in 2003. The fund has gone on to present thousands of dollars in scholarships to cardiac nurses, so they can pursue educational opportunities. In 2004, the alumni established the General Hospital of Port Arthur School of Nursing (1909 - 1970) Cardiology Endowment Fund to support the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment for cardiac care at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre.
Psychiatric nursing at the mental health facility in Whitby, ON was an experience that always stayed with her, and all issues pertaining to mental health were of great interest and importance to Shirley. She was ahead of her time in recognizing what we have finally come to acknowledge today as a looming crisis. She spent over 20 years working with the Board of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Shirley was a committed champion of CMHA. Her determination and dedication were instrumental in successfully securing the funds required to move the organization into a new building located on Van Norman Street. Shirley's interest in and genuine concern for people are evidenced in all her charitable endeavours, and her multiple projects knew no bounds. Her last project, one near and dear to her heart, was the building of a monument dedicated to the historical significance of the Port Arthur General Hospital. It is located on the grounds of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. By the grace of God, she lived to see its unveiling on November 6th, just three short weeks before her passing.
Shirley is survived by her daughter, Sherry, brother Lloyd Franz, nephews Wayne Franz (Lorraine), Blair Franz (Judy), and nieces Brenda Franz, Denise Larocque (Rocky), Shelley Gladu (Guy) and Karen Sequin (Gary). She was predeceased by her loving husband, Howard in 2005, her brother Clarence Franz and her parents Hellmuth and Emeline.
Sincere thanks to Dr. Dolores Sicheri, Dr. Ken Thacker, Dr. Eric Davenport, Dr. Harshad Telang, Dr. Margaret Anthes, Dr. Jim Scali, Dr. Joseph Del Paggio, Dr. Kathy Simpson, Marsha Ferguson, and the amazing, compassionate nurses of 1A. Your combined herculean efforts gave my mom a miracle year of life, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
Funeral Services for Shirley King will be held at St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church on Saturday, December 15 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, donations in Shirley's memory may be made to TBRHS Foundation, the Canadian Mental Health Association Thunder Bay Branch, or the Thunder Bay District Humane Society. Arrangements entrusted to the Sargent & Son Funeral Home, 21 N. Court Street. On-line condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.
Every morning we are handed 24 hours.
They come to us free of charge.
If we had all the money in the world, we couldn't buy an extra hour.
What do we do with this priceless treasure?
We must use it!
It is only once.
Let us not waste it.