Shirley Freeman George

September 5th, 1936 - December 31st, 2018

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Shirley Freeman George, age 82, died unexpectedly at her home in Fairview on December 31, 2018. She was born in Erie on September 5, 1936, the daughter of the late James J. Freeman and Laura K. Freeman.

Shirley’s life reflected her values. She maintained friendships that spanned decades, she worked until she was 81, and she cared for her family until the morning of her death. 

In 1950 Shirley graduated from Sacred Heart School where she played defense on a city championship basketball team. While there, and at Villa Maria Academy where she graduated in 1954, she made friendships that lasted for the rest of her life. Her childhood friends, Mary Grace (Larry) Lewis, Nellie (Ben) Stolarski, and Mary Jane Bohrer, or “my club girls” as she affectionately called them, were to meet for lunch on the day she passed.

The daughter of a math teacher, in 1977 Shirley received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Clarion State College, graduating magna cum laude while raising two sons in elementary school and a daughter with special needs. She returned to Erie, and for 20 years worked in the finance office at Mercyhurst University. In 1996 she also began working as the finance manager at her son’s law firm, now known as Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., a position she held until 2017, when she retired after more than 20 years of exemplary service. 

In addition to her parents, Shirley was preceded in death by her uncle, Raymond W. Hahn, her aunt, Ruthe Freeman Hahn, her sister-in-law, Jan O’Hara Freeman, and her niece, Kathleen Ann Haverty Freeman.  She was also preceded in death by her dear friends, Susan Rudy, Barbara Weigert, Liz Reid, and Marge Altsman.

Shirley is survived by her sons, Tim (Kathy) and John (Susan), and by her daughter, Chris, to whom Shirley devoted her life and gave the full measure of her love.

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Crissandra, Mia, Nathan, and Katie George. An ever-attentive and doting grandmother, “Nanny” attended their sporting events, entertained them with her good humor, and reveled in every “cousins day” when they all gathered at her home with Aunt Chris for fun, games, and Nanny-inspired silliness.    

Raised in a close-knit family, Shirley is survived by brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins whose friendship, love, and friendly teasing made holidays and gatherings memorable and something she cherished. She is survived by her brothers, Jim (Nancy) Freeman of Medford, OR, Tom (Gwenn) Freeman of Charlotte, NC, and Jack Freeman of Cleveland, OH; and her sister, Mary Pat (Fred) Klupp of Bloomfield Hills, MI. She is survived by cousins, Fr. Raymond Hahn of Erie, PA, Dr. Rich (Nancy) Hahn of Peters Township, PA, Joe (Judy) Hahn of Pittsburgh, PA, and Marilyn (Ray) Hahn of Redding, CT. She is survived by many nieces and nephews, all of whom “Aunt Shirley” loved immensely, including nephews, Jim Freeman of Newtown, CT, Mark (Cathy) Freeman of Medford, OR, and Peter (June) Freeman of Medford, CT; nieces, Elizabeth (Kevin) Murphy of Charlotte, NC and Emily (Patrick) Phillippi of Pensacola, FL; nephews, Eric Klupp of Chicago, IL and Adam Klupp of Memphis, TN; niece, Laura (Justin) Walter of Cleveland, OH and nephews, Sean (Erin) Freeman of Cleveland, OH and Michael (Rachel) Freeman of Toledo, OH. She is survived by many great nephews and great nieces who made her smile and warmed her heart. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Marilyn (Jeff) Thomas of Fairview and her “sister” Anne Bool of Erie. Together or apart, Shirley’s family enriched her life and brought her great joy.

In addition to her club girls, Shirley is survived by many other wonderful friends who filled her life with happiness over many years, especially Bob and Cathy Crawford and Susan McCann, who showed Shirley and Chris unfailing warmth and kindness.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2019 @ 1:30 PM at Mercyhurst University’s Christ the King Chapel. In lieu of flowers, consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Shirley Freeman George Scholarship c/o Mercyhurst University Advancement, 501 E. 38th St., Erie, PA 16546.  This scholarship will provide financial assistance to adult students wishing to complete their undergraduate studies at Mercyhurst University.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1595 West 38th Street.