Sept. 26, 1927 – Dec. 3, 2020
Shirley Derry was born in Calgary Sept 26, 1927. She was adopted by Helen and Peter Batter of Hanna. Peter was a CN Conductor so the Railroad in Hanna was a very important part of her family’s life. Almost 11 years later Helen and Peter adopted a little boy, Bill. Shirley soon learned about taking care of a small mischievous brother. They had the pleasure of having a wonderful sister/brother bond throughout their life. Bill Batter joined the RCMP and married Doreen Schmidt and they had 2 boys, Brad and Kevin.
Shirley spent her school years in Hanna and then went to work at the Royal Bank. After WWII she met Art Mohl when he returned home from overseas service. They were married in February of 1947 and she went straight from being a town girl to living on the Mohl family farm south of Hanna. Very quickly she was indoctrinated into all aspects of farm work and raising their family.
Art and Shirley had two daughters, Diane and Marilyn and a son, Raymond. Life was hard on the farm but Shirley adapted to the challenges. They lived in a community that was full of hard-working families that always helped each other out and shared many fun times of dances, cards, picnics, snowmobiling and 4-H. As Art’s health failed in 1976, they moved from the farm into the Batter house in Hanna. Unfortunately, Art passed away soon after in 1977.
Shirley enjoyed bus tours and travelling with friends and later met and married Jack Derry in 1980, adding a whole new family into her life. They enjoyed summers at the cabin at Buffalo Lake and traveled to Hawaii each winter. When Jack suddenly passed away in 1985, Shirley was back to her coffee friends and some more travelling.
Her life was always busy with cooking for the family. She made many delicious desserts, appetizers, Christmas baking and there would always be homemade cookies or fresh bread out of the oven when her family returned home. She was talented at copper tooling, jewellery making, resin art, knitting and crocheting. Whatever she would make, she always had to make 3 or more of for her kids and grandchildren. She was very proud of her family and enjoyed each visit and stories of what they were doing.
In 2003 she moved to the Villas and lived there until 2010. She then moved to the Hanna Lodge and relocated to the new Seniors Lodge when it opened in 2012. She had many wonderful friendships with the other seniors and staff and enjoyed all of the activities. With failing health Shirley moved to Hanna Long Term Care in 2016. Shirley’s health improved and she always remarked that she was blessed to be in a good place and have very good care. In fact, at both the Seniors Lodge and the Hanna Long Term Care she enjoyed the staff like they were a part of her family.
She was predeceased by her mother, Helen; father, Peter; first husband, Art; second husband, Jack; and then sadly she lost her brother, Bill in 2014.
She is lovingly rememebred by her daughters, Diane, (Bob) Paxman, Marilyn (Kim) Sturek; and her son, Raymond (Shelley) Mohl. Her grandchildren, Kris (Terry) Paxman, Kathy (Mike) Vasseur, Justin (Natasha) Sturek and Ashley Mohl; plus 4 great grandsons, Kyle, Kelly, Jake & Kai.
She is also survived by sister-in-Law, Doreen Batter; her sons Brad and Kevin and their families as well as Lloyd (Velma) Derry, George (Lorna) Derry and their families.
Shirley was truly loved by all of her friends and family and will be sadly missed. Her positive attitude, strength to face challenges head on and ability to adapt to many changes in her life will inspire us forever. A private family graveside service will be held in the future.
If one so desires, donations may be made in Shirley’s name to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 25, Box 1407, Hanna, Alberta, T0J 1P0.
I feel so blessed to have gotten to know your mom while she lived in the lodge. She became a very good friend of my mom and dad's, Lawrence and Edith Anderson. So in visiting them she also became my friend. When I would play the piano for hymn sing I would treasure visiting with your mom. She was always so positive. I loved when she would share stories of living on the farm, and her thoughts were, no matter what hard times they faced they could always trust God. I was so sad when she went to long term care. Mom and I went to go see her to try and cheer her up. What a surprise mom and I had, she greeted us when a smile and such cheerfulness. We were the ones being cheered!! She knew us and called us by name just by hearing our voices. She shared how thankful she was for the care she was receiving and how blessed she was. She will be always cherished in my heart for her positive attitude and her faith in the Lord. What an honor to have gotten to know your precious mom.
My sympathy to the family. Shirley was a great lady, always a kind, fun loving person.