Shirley Tower, Thrift Shop, garden club volunteer

Amy Pal
Amy Pal

Shirley Tower died on Monday, May 22, after a long and vibrant life.  She was born in New York City on June 3, 1917, the daughter of Frederic and Mary Sue Cummins Leake.

She grew up Nashville, Tennessee, where she acquired Southern charm and Southern manners. She graduated from Ward Belmont School (now Harpeth Hall ) in Nashville and met her husband, John, while he attended Exeter Phillips Academy and roomed with her brother, Teddy. They were married in Nashville on February 10, 1940.

She and her family moved to Ridgefield in 1950, where she lived on Peaceable Hill Road for 51 years. In 2001, she moved to Meadow Ridge in Redding, where she lived for 15 years.

While living in Ridgefield, Shirley was active in the community, volunteering for the Red Cross, The Ridgefield Thrift Shop and the DNA (now the RVNA). She was a member of the Caudatowa Garden Club, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church and Silver Spring Country Club.

She enjoyed golfing, reading, gardening, traveling, and was an excellent Bridge player, continuing to play until shortly before her death.

She was predeceased by her husband, John, in 1997, her grandson, Matthew Purdy, also in 1997 and her son-in-law, Douglas Purdy in 2016.

Shirley is survived by her daughters, Ellen Mulvaney (Mrs. George), Shirley Purdy (Mrs. Douglas) and Judith Symon (Mrs. Glenn), six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to make a contribution in Shirley’s memory, may do so to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 27 Governor St., Ridgefield, CT., or to the Mark Twain Library, Redding Road, Redding,CT.

A memorial service will be held at Christ Church,184 Cross Highway, Redding Ridge, on Friday, June 16, at 11:00 a.m.