NORTH BRIDGEWATER — A burial service is planned for Saturday, June 1, at 2 p.m., in the North Bridgewater Cemetery for Elizabeth Ellen Shurtleff, 81, who passed away on May 25 at Dartmouth Hitchcock after a brief illness. A memorial gathering in celebration of Elizabeth’s life will immediately follow at the Prosper Community House at 3 p.m. All are invited.
Elizabeth was born Oct. 6, 1931, in North Brookfield, Mass.
She was the daughter of Frederick Thomas and Gladys Lydia (Jeffrey) Smith.
Elizabeth graduated from nursing training at Mary Hitchcock in 1953 and immediately started work at Mary Hitchcock as a surgical nurse. While a student at Hitchcock, she met Irving Shurtleff, who was the brother of her close friend Natalie Shurtleff. Elizabeth and Irving shared an interest and love of family, animals, history, and the outdoors. They were married on March 12, 1955, and moved to Germany where Irving was stationed in the Army.
Upon completion of Irving’s military service, Irving and Elizabeth returned to North Bridgewater with their daughter Mary Louise, who was born in Germany. They took possession of the dairy farm, which had been in Irving’s family since the 1830s. Together the two worked on the farm and raised their family.
Elizabeth was a devoted daughter, wife, and mother who, like her husband, Irving, always put others ahead of herself. She spent much of her time each day looking after her family, close neighbors, and pets. Elizabeth was also active in the community and gave freely of her time, serving as a member of many committees and organizations, including the Bridgewater Board of Civil Authority, Bridgewater Planning Commission, Prosper Homemakers, Home Dem, Girl Scouts, and the Woodstock Union High School Board, where she was both a long-time member and chairperson. After her children were in college, she returned to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and worked as a surgical nurse for seventeen additional years. She retired in 1997, so she could spend more time with her beloved grandchildren.
She is survived by her children, Richard Shurtleff of North Bridgewater; Brenda Shurtleff of Nashua, New Hampshire; and Jennie Shurtleff Amirkiaee of Barnard; Jennie’s two children, Asa and Kia Amirkiaee of Barnard; one nephew, Jeff Wood of Woodstock; Jeff’s family, Carol, Amy, Erin Wood of Woodstock, Vermont; Hashem Amirkiaee of Mobile, Alabama, John Cassel of Nashua, NH, and her pets: Panthera, Firefly, Velvet, Greca, Noel, and Stickeen.
She was predeceased by her husband, Irving Shurtleff; their daughter, Mary Louise Shurtleff Day; and her sister, Mary Mulford.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Upper Valley Humane Society, TARPS (The Animal Rescue and Protection Society, located in Chester, VT), or the Woodstock Historical Society.
Those wishing may send online condolences by visiting cabotfh.com.
This obituary first appeared in the May 31, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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