Mrs. Shirley M. Tremblay, age 90, of 329 Pittsfield Rd. Devonshire Estates, Lenox, died Tuesday morning at the Mt. Carmel Care Center after a long illness. She was born in North Adams, the daughter the late John W. and Margaret P. Leroy. Educated in the local schools, she was a 1945 graduate of the former Adams Memorial High School. Shirley went on to earn a BA in Education from the College of Our Lady of the Elms in 1949, and began her teaching career at Dawes School in Pittsfield that same year. She taught throughout the Pittsfield School System in those early years in several Elementary Schools until 1955 at which time she left to pursue a Masters Degree in Social Work at Boston College. Following marriage and the birth of her two children, Shirley returned to teaching at Williams School in 1962.
While teaching, Shirley returned to school, obtaining an M.Ed from North Adams State College (MCLA) as well as Massachusetts Certifications as a School Adjustment Counselor and a School Psychologist. In 1967, Shirley became only the second woman in the Pittsfield Public School System to achieve the position of School Adjustment Counselor, a position she loved and served in at Herberg Middle School until her retirement in August 1989. Shirley was recognized as an outstanding educator by her admittance into Delta Kappa Gamma, a Professional Women's Excellence in Education Society, and subsequently held elected office within that organization. She was also a longstanding member of the Mass. Teachers' Association and the National Education Association.
Shirley was a woman whose Catholic faith was central to her life. As communicant of Sacred Heart Church for many years, Shirley was a member of the Rosary Sodality and the Funeral Honor Guard. Later in life, she achieved the tremendous honor of becoming an Associate of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. She was a proud member of the College of Our Lady of the Elms Alumnae, and was looking forward to celebrating what would have been her 70th reunion this year. A true global traveler, Shirley visited over 50 countries with a close-knit group of friends after her retirement. A member of the Board of Directors at the Christian Center, she also enjoyed working in the Center as well, especially in their Boutique, where she made many friends. In her own quiet, unassuming way, she spent countless hours of her time volunteering in places such as Shaker Village, the Berkshire Museum, OLLI, St. Vincent DePaul, and RSVP (at the Visitor Center). But her favorite volunteer role was at Tanglewood where she spent many hours each summer at the desk at Highwood Manor taking care of the guest dinner reservations. Shirley cherished the opportunity to support and was passionate about women's causes. She was a member and served in the leadership at the Women's Club, and was also a member of WHEN from its origins, working on many campaigns throughout the city of Pittsfield to help get women and people of color elected to local city government.
More than her professional accomplishments and volunteerism, Shirley was proudest of her family. She dearly loved her children and their children. She is survived by her daughter, Judith M. Williamson (Peter) of Castleton, N.Y., her son, John R. Tremblay (Eileen) of Cheshire, her 2 granddaughters, Jacqueline Balarin (Anthony), and Michelle Williamson, her 2 great-grandsons, Anthony and Aiden Balarin, her grandson, Dylan Quinn and her nieces and nephews.
She was pre deceased by her brother, John P. Leroy as well as her sister, Margaret Cuckovich.
The family would like to acknowledge with deep appreciation, Dr. Craig Kirby and the staff at Mt. Carmel for the tremendous care and loving support they gave to Shirley for the last six months of her life.
SERVICES: Calling Hours for Shirley at the DEVANNY-CONDRON FUNERAL HOME will be FRIDAY, Nov. 2nd from 4 to 7 pm. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated SATURDAY, Nov. 3rd at 11 am at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 159 Church St. Cheshire with the Rev. Matthew Guidi, pastor, officiating. Please meet directly at the Church in the morning. Burial will follow in Cheshire Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, if friends desire, memorial donations may be made to the College of Our Lady of the Elms or to the Sisters of St. Joseph General Fund, both in care of the Funeral Home.