Shirley Manning
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Obituary of Shirley Marie Manning

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March 10, 1931 – Guelph, Ontario

March 24, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta


It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Shirley Manning (nee Cook), of Calgary, AB. She passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 24, 2022, surrounded by family, at the age of 91 years.


Shirley was born in Guelph, Ontario on March 10, 1931 and moved to Toronto after marrying Austin in 1956. She moved to Calgary in 1965 with Austin and her first two children, Robert, and Donna. She missed her family and the splendid autumns in Ontario but came to love the majestic Rockies.


Shirley attended the Guelph Collegiate and Vocational Institute prior to entering the workforce. Following high school she worked in a bank as a bookkeeper, teller, and assistant accountant.  She was a member of the Beta Sigma Phi in Guelph, prior to marriage and held various executive positions. She enjoyed family vacations at Sauble Beach and attending formal dances. She was very close to her older sister Margaret, and they enjoyed many activities together throughout their years in Guelph and whenever they were able to get together as adults.


After marrying Austin, the love of her life, she was a homemaker until opening a small family business (picture framing) in 1980 along with Austin until retiring at 74 in 2005.


Shirley accomplished much through her life and was particularly proud of her family, children, grandchildren, and great-granddaughters. 


Shirley enjoyed music throughout the entirety of her life singing and playing the piano for her church choir in Guelph and later with friends and family and singing in the choir at her retirement home, sewing and other needle arts, nature (hiking, camping, gardening/yard work), skiing, bowling, family activities, jigsaw puzzles, and games.


Shirley had many favourite sayings, but one that would probably sum up her overall philosophy in life was “Be good. But if you can’t be good, be careful”. One that was befitting to her was “good things come in small packages - and so does dynamite!”.


She will be most remembered for her love of family, beautiful smile, sense of humour, her resilience, strength of character, and her determination to be independent despite the challenges she faced in later years.


Shirley is survived by her son Robert Douglas; two daughters and two sons-in-law, Donna Lynn Manning, and Ron Cornish, Annemarie and Peter Mickelson; six grandchildren, Trevor, Lucie Cornish (Michael Schleppe), Emilie, and Geoffrey (Catherine Vu) Cornish, and Matthew and Adam Mickelson; two great-granddaughters, Georgia Lynn and Jacklyn Marie Schleppe; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.


Shirley was predeceased by her husband, Austin Lyle Manning, sister Margaret Evelyn Tibbles, and her parents Richard John and Lucy Anna Cook.


A private family memorial will be held, and a recording of the service will be available for family and friends. 

Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed here.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, 3330 Hospital Dr NW, Calgary , AB T2N 4N1 Telephone: (403) 220-3558, or may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, 200, 119 – 14th Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6 Telephone: (403) 264-5549,


The family would like to recognize Tim Bowen who made mom's transition to supportive living easier through his compassion and use of music. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Holy Cross Manor for their exceptional care, particularly those in memory care and recreation. We would also like to thank the staff (and clients) at Dr. Vernon Fanning Centre RCTP for their care and compassion during mom’s final days.


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