Shirley Bailey

Obituary of Shirley Kathleen Bailey


Shirley Kathleen Bailey “Shell” nee Atkinson


November 24th, 1923 - November 9th, 2021

Heading into her 99th year of living with grace, and the strength of her Prairie roots, Shirley chose to depart before winter set in. She was born in Wadena, Saskatchewan to Bessie and Edward Atkinson and knew in her bones the hard times of this dark season on the family farm in the Depression. Shirley rose above the ordinary with her confidence, beauty, work ethic and uncanny powers of observation.  She took herself to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1948. Married for 67 years to her geologist husband Bruce, they created together a solid family life in the glory years of oil and gas exploration in Calgary. Shirley was a fierce, funny and honest mother and always pitching, no matter the challenge. Seeking to stay connected to what she felt was her most authentic self, Shirley sustained lifelong University friendships through often riotous bridge games and as a highly competitive member of her golf foursome, who met weekly on ladies’ day. As Shirley entered her ninth decade, her gentle side began to peek through, but the force of her character and the brilliance of her smile could still take our breath away. Shirley is survived by her sister Joyce (Vancouver) and three Bailey generations who love, admire and marvel at the endurance of our small but mighty ‘Gramma B’.

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