Shirley Mae Ginter passed away peacefully on March 17, 2022, at the age of 82 years. Shirley was an amazing and strong woman. She left her home and family in Thunder Bay at a young age, worked as a stenographer in Winnipeg, was married at 23 to Dennis Ginter, and they adopted her son, Michael, when she was 27.
Although she struggled with anxiety and depression her entire adult life, she was able to combine a profound sense of empathy with amazing and tenacious organizational skills to transform her life following the dissolution of her marriage. Shirley provided for herself and her son as a single mother by converting her home into a residential care facility, caring for two, sometimes three, cognitively challenged and mentally ill patients for over 20 years until her retirement.
Her sense of humor was irrepressible and mischievous, and she delighted in playful teasing and the laughter of others. She was thrilled when her older brother, David, married later in life and had three beautiful children, David, Shirley, and Ruby. She was ecstatic to be their aunt. They all fondly remember her visits, taking them to Harrison where Shirley and Miriam - her best friend of forty years - kept a holiday trailer, or renting hotel rooms for them all so they could spend weekends enjoying the pool. With Miriam, she had many marvelous adventures in her middle age and retirement years, driving across Canada and the United States several times with their dogs, exploring, and making friends.
Shirley was diagnosed with dementia in 2010 and moved into long-term care in 2013. A testament to her caring nature, she was never plagued with the angry outbursts that are so often - and understandably - a part of the progression of dementia and the confusion it brings. Instead, she was always concerned with those around her, both patients and staff, and often felt distress because she didn’t think she was helping enough. When she experienced periods of distress, assurance that those she loved were safe comforted her more than anything else. She worried too much, but it was always for the sake of others.
More than anything, throughout all her years, Shirley’s sweet and caring nature was forefront, and her family is so very proud of that humble but generous legacy.
Remembered and sadly missed by her son Michael (Gena Lock) Lockhart of Summerland, best friend Miram Hermanson, nieces and nephews, David Lockhart of Vancouver, Shirley Alacantra of Vancouver, and Ruby Lockhart of Vancouver. Sadly, predeceased by her parents, David Cunningham Lockhart and Pearl Ruby May Lockhart. Memorial tributes may be made to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
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