Shirley Jean Galardy, 85, went home to the Lord on Sunday, February 17, at the Ellis Residential and Rehabilitation Center, surrounded by her children.
Shirley was born in Schenectady on June 21, 1933 and raised in Schenectady and Springfield, MA. She is predeceased by her parents Charles and Pearl and by her five brothers and sisters.
Her loving husband Pat, predeceased her in 1987, after 25 years of marriage. Shirley has been an amazing and inspiring mother to son Kenneth Eitelman (Leah) (with first husband Richard) and daughter Jo-Ann Galardy; proud and loving grandmother to Kenneth Eitelman (Carrie), Matthew Eitelman (Christina) and to her step-grandson Jason (Dana); and adoring great-grandmother to Mason and Autumn Eitelman and Lucas Galardy. Shirley was predeceased by step-son Dennis (Patti), whom she loved very much. She would talk often of being reunited in Heaven with her son Bruce Anthony, who died at birth. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Shirley always loved her work. She worked for many years as a waitress at the White Tower and The Holiday Inn in Schenectady. Her great joy was opening two Jo-Ann’s Hallmark Shops with Pat, first on State Street in Schenectady and then on Hamburg Street in Rotterdam. She loved her customers and appreciated their support for more than 20 years. She was an astute business woman, had a great talent for decorating and loved to create a warm, welcoming and festive atmosphere for her customers. She held fundraisers for customers in need and was proud to donate a new sign to the Carman Fire Department in Pat’s memory. Just recently she remembered the store saying, “It wasn’t like working; everyday was like a holiday.” Later in life she worked at the Kingsway Village Café and also worked as an aide offering help and comfort to a number of people in their later years.
She found inspiration in the song “One Day at a Time” and was deeply grateful for how good God has been to her throughout her life. She made friends easily, and had a deep love for those who visited and supported her in her recent journey. Shirley was a smart and creative woman with great inner strength. She had a great sense of humor, was proud of her Irish heritage and always looked for opportunities to help others. Shirley was also a fabulous cook. She loved animals and had a special love for Nicki. She had many pets throughout her life and also loved to feed the squirrels, birds and ducks around her apartment and at Central Park.
Shirley’s family would like to extend our deep gratitude to the staff at Ellis Residential and Rehabilitation Center – Mohawk and Edison units. Special thanks to Nurse Manager, Jessica Sweeney and her team of nurses and aides, and all the support staff who walked through Shirley’s day. Your care, compassion and love made a beautiful home for her and she loved you all. Special thanks also to Dr. Robert Donohue and Dr. Karen Blesser.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Saturday, March 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union Street in Schenectady. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in loving memory of Shirley.