Shirley Lillian Ford
Sydney, Nova Scotia.
June 1, 1933-January 4, 2022
It is with great sadness that the family of Shirley Lillian Ford, age 88, of Sydney, announce her passing. Shirley went to her heavenly home on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at the Northside General Hospital..
Shirley was born June 1, 1933, to the late John J. and Lillian Jane (Abbott) MacDonald of Fraser Avenue in Sydney Mines. Shirley was the oldest of four daughters and five sons. At 20 years of age, Shirley married her sweetheart, Henry Ford, and this upcoming February 11th, they would have celebrated 69 years of marriage. The young couple started a family right away. In 1956 they built their first home in Sydney Mines and their second home seven years later in Upper North Sydney. Shirley travelled to Woolco in Sydney River, where she worked in the candy department, then later in the jewelry department of Walmart for 25 years. Shirley was a faithful woman who loved the Lord, her family, church, and community.
Shirley was a warm and caring individual, and she was the foundation of our family. My brothers and I have childhoods filled with the aromas of homemade breads, pies, and delicious meals being prepared, all wonderful things that memories are made of. Mom was a devoted mother and wife who worked tirelessly in and out of the home. She was our constant cheerleader and supporter. No job was ever too big and with a cheery disposition, mom would complete it. Evenings were spent doing homework, or reciting lines for Christmas concerts or driving to and from piano lessons. Mom was a great coach and she taught me to drive a stick shift, no small task. Together we practiced on our steep driveway, and we laughed in relief when I finally got it. Mom was very nurturing, and she was always there for us.
Mom loved life and she had many passions. Mom was a member of Calvary Baptist Church, Beech St., North Sydney, and she enjoyed attending conventions at Acadia University, and the Women’s Guild. Mom especially loved her role as Nan, and she treasured her grandchildren, spoiling them as only she could. When she wasn’t filling our home with warmth and kindness, she could be found in her garden tending to her roses, and heirloom peonies. For nearly 30 years, mom enjoyed spending summers, surrounded by family and friends, at Driftwood Campground. Starting in 1978, mom would look forward to her yearly trips to Florida (sometimes twice/year), and she and my father also made many trips to Jamaica, Cuba, and the Dominican. Mom & daughter also took solo trips. We travelled to Los Cayos and left dad to fend for himself during Desert Storm. Looking for a better beach, we fearlessly boarded the back of a single engine plane and held on tight to the cargo netting, until we landed in Cayo Largo. In Cancun, on excursion, we climbed the great pyramid of Chichén Itzá. March 2003, mother, daughter, and granddaughter went on a Disney Cruise to the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. Mom was a wonderful companion, and she taught us how to grab life with both hands.
Above all, mom was inspiring. In the summer of 2003, we were shocked to learn that mom had a rare and aggressive cancer; a form of AML known as acute promyelocytic leukemia. By the grace of God and an experimental drug, ten years later, and the fight of her life, mom was in full remission. The cancer however left her heart weak. Going back again to Halifax, she underwent open heart surgery and in 2014, mom received a new aortic valve, a bypass, and two stints. To aid in her recovery, mom and dad moved in with me and my family. After a month or two, it was clearly mom who was looking after us. She did this for the next eight years until she physically couldn’t do so any longer. The last words mom spoke to me were, “Do not be sad”.
Shirley was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to all. Shirley will be greatly missed.
Shirley is survived by her husband Henry Ford, sons Gary (Johanne) of Saint John, NB, Paul (Elizabeth) of Leitches Creek, and daughter Joanne (Mr. Carl Andrews) of Sydney. Shirley had four grandchildren, Nicole Ferris, Jonathan Ford, Rebecca (Mr. Lennon Jerrott), and Eric Lewis. All of these she loved and touched deeply. Shirley is also survived by siblings Lillian McGean of Bras d’Or, Yvonne White of Millville, Wayne (Corrine) MacDonald of Sydney, and Bruce (Barbara) MacDonald of Sydney Mines. Shirley had many nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, Shirley was predeceased by her sister Betty (Elizabeth) Mauger, brothers Kenneth, Keith, John Jr., and grandson Scott Ford.
The family would like to thank the nursing staff of the Northside General Hospital (4 West) for their care and dedication. We would also like to recognize Shirley’s daughter-in-law, Beth Ford. Beth spent many nights sleeping in a chair next to mom, first at the Regional Hospital, and again later on the Northside. We would not have made it through this difficult time without her love and compassion.
There will be no visitation by request. Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm on Monday, January 10, 2022 at Calvary Baptist Church, with Rev. James MacLellan officiating. Covid-19 restrictions will be in place with the wearing of masks, proof of vaccination and photo ID and limited seating in the church. The video recording of the service will be available on the Calvary Baptist Church Facebook Page.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Northside General Hospital. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.wjdooley.com.
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