GARDINER — Shirley E. Strickland, 87, passed away March 7, at her family’s home in Gardiner.

She was born in Lewiston, Nov. 19, 1925, to Arthur and Ruth Goss. She grew up in Mechanic Falls and graduated from Mechanic Falls High School, Class of 1944. After high school, she went to work for the FBI as a fingerprint technician and had a variety of jobs thereafter, including clothing buyer for Peck’s Department Store in Lewiston and at one point worked for the Lewiston Sun Journal.

During the course of her 46-year marriage to James Strickland, she lived throughout the country and overseas in Okinawa, where she taught English to adult students and formed lifelong friendships. After Jim retired from the Air Force in 1977, they lived in Mechanic Falls, until his death in 2006; after that, she went to live with her family in Gardiner.

Shirley was an accomplished artist. She contributed illustrations to her high school year book and later took up sculpture and then oil painting. She was also fond of crafts and was a regular contributor to craft fairs at the First Congregational Church in Mechanic Falls, where she was an active lifelong member.

She loved dogs and was especially proud of her standard poodle, Amy, a registered therapy dog. When Shirley was in her 70s, she and Amy would go to nursing homes to “visit the old folks.” She will be remembered for her wit, her gregarious nature and her sense of humor.

Survivors include her son, Jeffrey P. Strickland of Portland; son, Donald J. Strickland of Gardiner, his wife, Dorothy and their daughter, Susie; and daughter, Pamela J. Luchenbaugh of York, Pa., and her daughters, Julianne Rosier and Jamie Raffensberger and their children.

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