Shirley I. Churchill


AUBURN – Shirley Irene Churchill, 92, died April 4, at Clover Living Center, where she had been a resident for a few years.

She was born Feb. 15, 1914, the daughter of Oscar Charles and Nina Gladys (Churchill) Benson, and spent her early years living in Auburn. The family then moved to Bethel before leaving Maine for San Francisco, Calif., where she completed high school. She was later employed there as executive secretary for a large distribution firm.

The family returned to Maine, settling on a farm in Minot. In 1939, she married Ralph A. Churchill, who died in 1994. They moved to Auburn in 1953, and lived in that city the rest of their lives.

She was a longtime member of the First Universalist Church, Universalist-Unitarian, in Auburn, where she volunteered as a church school teacher, choir member, and served in many capacities through the years in the women’s church groups and on many various committees. In later years, she especially enjoyed her role as church historian. She worked for many years at the Auburn Public Library as a bookkeeper, and then as registrar and archivist for the School of Nursing at Central Maine Medical Center. She also did volunteer work as a member of RSVP.

Nourishing her interest in photography, she and her husband did extensive traveling during vacations to various parts of the United States and Canada. They were most often accompanied by friends or, occasionally, a family member. After her husband died, she was treated to a tour of London and Paris, traveling with a group of educators, and then took a boat and train cruise with her brother from Seattle, Wash., to points of interest in Alaska.

She is survived by three sons, David and his wife, Marilyn, of Minot, Alan of Augusta and Cameron and his wife, Edith, of Auburn; five granddaughters, Linda Delorme and her husband, Marcel, of Lisbon, Alina Burke and her husband, Rick, of Auburn and Amber, Tara and Moriah Churchill, all of Auburn; four great-grandchildren, Marcel Delorme Jr., Katie Lynn Delorme, and Chandler and Alyssa Burke; a brother, Robert Benson and his wife, Masako, of Seattle, Wash.; nephews, Carl and Stanley, and niece, Ami, all of Washington state, and their families; also, stepsisters, Muriel Ganapole and Gwendolyn Jenkins; and many cousins and special friends.