Shirley was born in Chesley on July 28, 1936 to parents Russell and Marguerite (Rita)(Mink) Harvie. She was soon joined by younger sisters Joyce (1937) and Elizabeth (1939). When the girls were very young, the Harvies purchased a farm on the southeast corner of town and soon called it home. Shirley attended both public and high school in Chesley. Following high school, she began working at Heinmiller General Store in Chesley.
It was during this time that Shirley was introduced to her future husband, Edgar John Fischer. Edgar was a friend of Bob Ford’s, and Shirley and Joyce went on many dates together. When the boys were over, the lights would flick at 11 p.m., a gentle signal from Rita informing the boys it was time to head home. Shirley and Edgar were married on October 5, 1957 at Chesley Baptist Church. The newlyweds called Hanover home to be closer to Edgar’s work. The Fischer family soon began to grow with the arrival of the boys, Dennis (1959), Dwayne (1961) and Daryl (1969).
In 1962, Shirley and Edgar purchased the farm across the road from her parents on the outskirts of Chesley from Milton Shouldice. The Fischers quickly settled in and began mix farming on the 200 acre parcel of land. In addition to caring for her young family, Shirley worked side-by-side with Edgar on the farm. She often joked that if she had a penny for every bale she handled over the years, she would be a very rich woman! No matter how busy life was on the farm, Edgar and the boys always enjoyed a big meal at suppertime, prepared by Shirley’s loving hands. When the boys got a little older Shirley did some cleaning for residents and businesses in Chesley. She also spent some time working at the local clothing store, Top Drawer.
Shirley was a fabulous cook. The boys were often the benefactors of this talent and always enjoyed her baking especially her famous peanut butter chocolate chip cookies as well as her rice krispies. Shirley’s staple, however, was her roast beef dinners, which was a favourite to many. Family holiday gatherings were always held at Shirley’s and she was insistent that she prepare a hot meal. On evenings when she wasn’t preparing a meal, she often liked to spoil herself with Chinese food. She also enjoyed her coffee and was known to always have a coffee pot on.…when stopping by for a visit. She always said, “Everyone is welcome as long as they take us as we are”. She also had a saying ”No Fuss, No Muss, Just Us”. She also liked her Coke, which tasted even a bit better with a touch of whisky! In recent years, the radio and TV often kept Shirley company throughout the day. She also loved watching her beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.
In 1984, Shirley and Edgar sold the farm and moved across the road, purchasing her childhood home from her mother. It was during this time that Shirley became a grandmother, a role she cherished. In the years that followed she was blessed with a total of nine grandchildren and later five great-grandchildren. She enjoyed a special relationship with all of them and treasured all her time with them. She did her fair share of running them around as well, as many winters saw seven of them all playing hockey. Grandma was always there, whether it was in an arena or on a ball diamond, showing her love and support. When they were not playing hockey at the rink, grandma’s kitchen was the next best thing and in true grandma fashion, she let them enjoy themselves with few rules. Grandma could also be seen rollerblading on the highway in front of the house with the grandkids.
Shirley was a kind, caring, and supportive woman who always put the needs of others before her own. In addition to being the matriarch of the family, Shirley enjoyed a very good and close relationship with her sisters. This love and adoration was shared with her nieces and nephews as well. Shirley’s family was her world, and she would do anything to support them.
Sadly, Edgar died in August 2003. It was during difficult times like this that Shirley relied heavily on her strong faith. She knew her Bible well and was a devoted member of Chesley Baptist Church. At church, she was active with Ladies Aid and Mission Circle and later on The Board of Managers. She also assisted with music regularly on Sundays often splitting time playing the piano with her sister Elizabeth. Even in recent years, when her health began to fail her, Daryl would pick her up at Parkview Manor every Sunday morning and she would attend worship with him. Her church family was truly an extension of her own. Shirley joined her beloved Edgar and entered fully into the presence of her Lord and Saviour on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at the age of 84.
Loving mother of Dennis (Brenda Ann) of R.R. #2 Elmwood, Dwayne (Karen), and Daryl, all of Chesley. Cherished grandmother of Pam, Jason (Lacy), Matthew (Alicia), Amanda (Nick), Brandon, Brady (Alicia), Marshall, Dwayne Jr. (Sariahlynne) and Dalton and great-grandmother of Emmett, Leah, Landon, Tenley and Adeline. Shirley will be dearly missed by her sister Elizabeth (Herb) McGilveary of R.R. #1 Chesley and brother-in-law Bob Ford, sister-in-law Lorraine Yandt, both of Hanover. She was predeceased by her husband Edgar (2003), sister Joyce Ford and her parents Russell and Marguerite (Rita)(Mink) Harvie.
Private family services were held with spring inurnment to follow in Chesley Cemetery.
Memorial donations to Chesley Baptist Church would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.