Dateline – Burnt Hills, NY
Shirley Miller Garrison, age 97, died peacefully on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, NY. She was born on May 8, 1922 in Schenectady to the late Harris and Ethel (Woodin) Miller.
Shirley was a graduate of Burnt Hills Ballston Lake High School in 1940 and valedictorian of her class. She worked at General Electric Co. until marrying her husband, the late Dr. Stanley E. Garrison in 1942. Once they were married, Shirley became Stanley’s “right-hand man”, working with him in his veterinary practice, farming operations and raising their family together.
After her retirement in 1984, Shirley kept busy exploring her artistic side. She was an avid writer, authoring “Life is a Story”, an unpublished collection of poetry, essays and true stories about Shirley’s life and her gentle view of the world. If she wasn’t writing, Shirley could be found with a paintbrush in hand, working on her latest watercolor painting. Shirley loved the Adirondack Mountains, finding solace in spending time at her cabins there. It was always important to Shirley to have her family and friends gather for celebrations. Always the planner, she organized countless reunions and parties, often held at her retreats over the years. Shirley’s warm and gentle spirit was like no other.
Not being one to sit idle, Shirley involved herself in many local organizations. She was an active member of the Burnt Hills United Methodist Church, Girl Scouts, PTA, Farm Bureau, the Auxiliary member to New York State Veterinary Medical Society and Stanley’s Burnt Hills Ballston Lake Rotary Club. Shirley was a member of Natural Resource Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, Adirondack Mountain Club and Shelburne Farms. In 1987, at the age of 65, Shirley graduated from Fulton-Montgomery Community College with a degree in Fine Arts.
Shirley is survived by her three daughters, Diane (Robert) Condit of Palm City, FL, Linda (Jay) Walter of Moneta, VA, Dr. Laurel (Brian) Harms of Colchester, VT; her grandchildren Garry Prentiss, Darlene (Rod) Bower, Mike Walter, Amy (Mark) Clemons, Matthew (Laura) Ellis; great-grandsons DeWitt (Brittany) Noxon and Evan Bickford; a niece Shirley (Jeff) Riley and nephew Alan (Darlene) Miller.
Along with her husband, she is predeceased by her brother Erwin H. Miller, her niece Norma Lawrence and her grandson Derek Harms.
The family is forever grateful for staff at The Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center at the Eddy, where Shirley resided during the last two years of her life, spending her days gazing at a beautiful white birch tree just outside her window. The family also wishes to thank the staff at Ellis C4 and the Community Hospice.
Family and friends are invited to call on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 from 3pm – 5pm at Townley & Wheeler Funeral Home, 21 Midline Road, Ballston Lake. A service celebrating Shirley’s life will begin at 5pm, followed by a private burial at Sweetman Road Cemetery in Charlton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Adirondack Mountain Club 814 Goggins Rd Lake George, NY 12845, Community Hospice 445 New Karner Rd Albany, NY 12205 or The Animal Protective Foundation 63 Maple Ave Schenectady, NY 12302.
With confidence, the family has placed their trust in the loving care of Townley & Wheeler Funeral Home, 21 Midline Road Ballston Lake, and they encourage you to view and leave messages on Shirley’s Book of Memories at www.TownleyWheelerFH.com