Shirley Hathaway died on February 21, 2023, at the Foulkeways Continuing Care Center in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania. She was 97.
Shirley was born November 15, 1925, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Agnes Harrang Cornwell and Finch J. Cornwell. She graduated from Spring Valley High School in Minnesota in 1943, and she attended Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1947. Her first real job was as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse (Walkermine) in Plumas County, California. Subsequently, she taught in San Bernardino, California; Oberlin, Ohio; Lincoln, Massachusetts; and Troy, New York. While living in Jackson, Mississippi, she was the office manager for Women in Community Service (WICS), which recruited, screened, and sent young women to Job Corps Centers in the United States. While residing in Birmingham, England, she volunteered at the Winson Green Prison Reception Center.
She married Richard D. Hathaway in 1949, and they were divorced in 1972. As a resident of New Paltz, New York for 40 years, Shirley was involved in many community activities. She helped in the creation of a daycare center for the children of migrant workers, worked for the Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), taught in the West Park School District, was an employee of Mohonk Mountain House, tutored English at SUNY New Paltz, and was a guide at Historic Huguenot Street. As a member of the New Paltz Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), she volunteered in the Eastern New York State Correctional Facility.
In 2002, Shirley moved to Foulkeways Continuing Care Center. Shirley became the de facto family historian, as both sides of her family sent her numerous letters, photos, and family history boxes, stuffing all free corners of her tiny studio apartment. Visitors were graciously received there, and were revived with a cold drink of iced coffee or lemonade; those coming from afar were invited to take a rest in the comfortable recliner chair that had belonged to her mother, and to a meal in the Foulkeways dining room or café. This would be followed by an invitation to accompany her on one of her daily nature walks, or a game of ping-pong, as she knew that getting your limbs moving was as important for others as it was for herself. She always had suitable books and games on hand for friends, grandchildren, and great grandchildren—fun was important, too!
We, the still living, are sad, but grateful for the years we shared with her. Shirley is survived byherdaughter and son-in-law, Linda and Andrew Ellis; grandchildren Jonah Ellis, Sharon (Joshua) Olsen, and Ben (Katie) Ellis; and great grandchildren Zoe, Quinn, August, Trent, Ethan, and Kate; brother and sister-in-law Ron (Joan) Cornwell; sister and brother-in-law Ann (Roy) Kingsley; sister-in-law Gerry Cornwell; daughter-in-law Irene Sweeney; and many nieces and nephews and life-long friends. She was preceded in death by her son Bruce Hathaway.
A memorial gathering in memory of Shirley will be held at the FoulkewaysContinuing Care Center in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania on May 6, 2023 at 2 PM. A Zoom link will be provided for those who wish to participate remotely. Donations in Shirley Hathaway’s honor can be made to the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), and the American Friends Service Committee. Contact Chris at 845-255-2583 for further information.