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Sun., Dec. 21
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Shirley M. Wells

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CANTON- Shirley M. Wells of Canton passed away on Friday, May 3rd at United Helpers Maplewood Campus, in Campus, surrounded by family and friends.

She was the wife of the late John H. Wells of Canton, former Professor Emeritus at SUNY Canton. Her parents were the late Jay A. Munson and Hazel Munson Wetmore. Born in Watertown in June of 1923, she graduated Valedictorian of Cape Vincent Central School in 1940 and graduated with Honors from Potsdam State Teachers College in 1944. She married John in August of 1948. Employed by Banford Elementary School in Canton for 21 years, Shirley was adored as a Kindergarten and 3rd Grade teacher. She helped John lovingly build the beautiful house they lived in for so many years. Together they were active in the Skirts and Flirts Square Dancing Group. Later they joined their skills to restore the antique launch Fawn, which now resides at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY.

Shirley was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Canton. She served the church as a Deacon and as an Elder. She participated in the Postscript and Study Clubs. Shirley made many lovely hand knit items for the Church Bazaar. Of course she worked at it every year. She had always been a member of the Choir until this past Fall.

Shirley was an active member of the “Daughter of the American Revolution” for 50 years. She has been an Easter Star member for 52 years and their Pianist for many years.

Through the years Shirley played the piano for many Church and other events at Nursing Homes, the High Rise and other places where music was needed. Hand written sheet music in the process of transcription remains on her piano at home. Shirley knit and gave away many hats. She was always willing to make food for anyone whether she knew them or not if someone was in need or didn’t feel well. She was very kind, always willing to help others.

She loved spending time on their island near Chippewa Bay. In more recent years, she maneuvered [i]her walker alone on a walkway onto her pontoon boat and motored to the island. Last summer she accepted a bit more help to reach the island. Shirley made sure to go for a 2012 swim in the St. Lawrence. John and Shirley were big Antique Boat enthusiast and have won many awards they were so proud of.

In May 2005 Shirley self-published her mother’s memoir “Early Days on Tug Hill.” The memoir is now published by the Lewis County Historical Society.

Shirley was a bright favorite among her relatives: her godson and nephew, David Wells of Brooklyn NY, a nephew and wife, Andrew and Sherry Proctor, a niece, Martha Proctor of Woodbridge, Ontario, CA, a brother-in-law and wife, Nathaniel and Lois Wells, of Ogdensburg, NY, a sister-in- law, Nancy Proctor, of London Ontario, CA, a nephew and wife, Jared and Karen Wells of Niskayuna, NY, a nephew and wife, Nathaniel and Holly Wells of Mosier, OR, and nephew and wife, Beric and Heidi Wells of West Richland, WA, cousins Ellen Spencer, Lowville and Tom Wetmore, Waltham MA. She is loved by many great nieces and nephews. She will be deeply missed by her friends and family.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, May 8th from 4-6 PM at the Lawrence Funeral Home, 21 Park Street, Canton. A Memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 9 at 10:30 AM at the First Presbyterian Church of Canton with Rev. Michael P. Catanzaro officiating.

In Lieu of flowers the family asked that donations be sent to: Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley or The Fellowship Committee of the First Presbyterian Church, in Canton, NY.

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