Shirley Marion Eaton Wilkinson


Shirley Marion Eaton Wilkinson, age 93, died June 30.  She was born in Wakefield, MA, the daughter of Emory Nelson Eaton and Marion Wilson (Bullock) Eaton.  Shirley resided in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, most of her life.  She was predeceased by her loving husband of 56 years, Robert Munroe Wilkinson.

Surviving Shirley are her son, Stephen Wilkinson, and his wife, Emma, of The Villages, Florida; her daughter, Susan Wilkinson Parker, and her husband, Jeffrey, of Manchester-by-the-Sea; her sister Mary Louise O’Brien; and her sister-in-law Phyllis Wilkinson.  Shirley leaves cherished grandchildren Amy Lyn Wilkinson and her fiancé Christopher Merlino; Robert Gonzales Wilkinson and his fiancée Anna Lisa Vust; Christopher Schulte Parker and his wife Nicole Anne; and Brian Eaton Parker and his wife Rosaly; greatgrandchildren Ava and Anthony, children of Amy; Caleb and Benjamin, children of Christopher and Nicole; and William, Alejandro and Caroline, children of Brian and Rosaly; and special nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Shirley and the family are deeply grateful to Mary Hardwick as well as the care providers at The Linden and Ledgewood Rehab.

During high school, Shirley worked at Pioneer Village in Salem and was a soda jerk at Allen’s Drugstore in Manchester.  She graduated first in her class from Story High School in 1945 and entered the Beverly Hospital School of Nursing, graduating with her nursing diploma in 1948.  Shirley was a member of the WWII U.S. Army Cadet Nurse Corps.  She worked at Beverly and other hospitals, Oakwood Nursing and Retirement Home and was also a private duty nurse.  Shirley loved her career as a registered nurse.

Reading, music, gardening, knitting, traveling, playing bridge, Scrabble, walking, crossword puzzles, and volunteering were favorite pastimes.  She also loved genealogy and was delighted to be a granddaughter of Benjamin Bullock, Manchester’s old-time baker.

Shirley was an active member of the First Parish Church Congregational where she sang in the choir for 40 years, and served in a variety of roles, including deaconess and trustee.  She enjoyed The Manchester Woman’s Club, Manchester Historical Museum, the Council on Aging, the Lions Club, Golden Agers, Seaside Knitters and Beverly Hospital Nursing Alumni Association.   

Robert and Shirley loved hosting family vacations to Cape Cod, New Hampshire, the Caribbean and other places, providing the family with eternal wonderful memories. 

Shirley treasured her many friends and her beloved hometown.  She will be remembered for her smile, positive attitude during health challenges and pleasure in helping others.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, August 14, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at First Parish Church Congregational, followed by a reception at the chapel.  To those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to the music ministry of First Parish Church Congregational, PO Box 187, Manchester, MA. 01944.

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