With her four children by her side, Shirley passed away at her home in Keremeos, B.C. on November 23rd at the age of 88.
Shirley Elsie Mae Bray was born in Rossland, B.C. to her loving parents Frank & Orma (Fleury) Bray. She was the youngest of three, having two older sisters, Orma and Frances. It was from her father that Shirley developed her childhood love of skiing, skating, swimming and other sports. Her dad also passed on the desire to help others. It began with Shirley and her dad volunteering during the early development of their local Red Mountain Ski Hill as well as building and maintaining outdoor rinks. Shirley, also, grew up under the guidance of her godparents, John and Marie Fox, and maintained a very close lifelong relationship with them and their many children, whom she considered her brothers and sisters.
Shirley met Doug Cameron in Rossland and they married in1951. They eventually moved to East Arrow Park, B.C. in 1953 where they lived, farmed and raised their seven children until their property was expropriated by BC Hydro in June of 1966. They then moved to Salmo, B.C. to continue raising their family. Shirley, Doug and kids also farmed in Salmo, raising sheep, chickens, cows, pigs and horses. Shirley had a wonderful green thumb and she enjoyed many hours in her huge gardens, both in Arrow Park and Salmo, from which she fed her large family. Although Shirley was a wonderful cook, able to make a lot from a little, a special favourite of her kids and their friends was her excellent homemade bread…hot out of the oven smothered in freshly churned butter.
As her kids were growing up and away, Shirley turned her cooking talents to restaurant ownership both in Salmo and later in Keremeos, B.C.She became quite well-known for her homestyle meals and excellent pies.
As a widow, Shirley relocated to Nakusp in 1987 to be closer to her sons and their families. She was employed as a cook at Halcyon Home and started a catering business with a partner until her retirement.
Shirley met David Wyatt shortly after moving to Nakusp and they were married in April 1990. They enjoyed many years of camping, golfing, gardening, volunteering and spending time with family and friends until Dave passed away in 2015.
Shirley was a prolific volunteer her whole life. Even while running a farm and raising a family in East Arrow Park, she was involved in organizing committees and activities.In Salmo she joined the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary where she participated in the organization of many local events. After her return to Nakusp in 1987, Shirley’s volunteering went into overdrive. She volunteered with the Legion Branch 20 as Poppy Chair, Vice President, Bingo organizing, Robbie Burns Night and many other Legion activities. Shirley also volunteered for Meals on Wheels, at Halcyon and Minto House, Hospice Society, Nakusp Seniors, the United Church and wherever else she could be of help. In 2009, Shirley was recognized for her years of volunteering being awarded Rotary Citizen of the Year. She continued to volunteer and help others to the best of her abilities until she left Nakusp in April 2021.
Shirley, being a very social person, enjoyed a variety of activities such as Bingo, Red Hat Ladies, Canasta Club, Seniors Tea, Tai Chi and United Church services, as well as lunches, dinners and other events at the Arrowtarian building where she lived. This was until the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in all these activities being put on hold. Her daughters became very concerned about the effects this lack of socializing was having on Shirley. With no end to the pandemic in sight, they found an apartment at an assisted living facility in Keremeos, where Shirley, also, had friends and family. After an initial tour of what this facility had to offer, Shirley decided this was for her and moved immediately in May 2021. She eagerly befriended residents and staff and greatly enjoyed all the meals and activities offered. She also enjoyed attending local ballgames watching her talented great-grandsons play and sunny days by her daughter's pool surrounded by many of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Shirley is survived by her children, Larry Cameron (Lila Tsmura), Jim (Virginia) Cameron, Jo-anne (Terry) Martin, Marie (Ernie) Marven, her daughter-in-law, Renee, 19 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her first husband, Doug Cameron in 1981, three sons, Lorne (1951), Duane (1983), and Bob (2016) and one daughter, Norma (2014),her second husband, Dave Wyatt (2015), and two great-granddaughters. She is also survived by several of her god-brothers and sisters, Loretta, Helen, Raymond and Doug and one brother-in-law, Bill Cameron.
Shirley was greatly loved by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was known by many names, including Mom, Grandma, Cookie Grandma, GG, and GG Snowflake. She will always have a very special place in the hearts and memories of all who love her and miss her so very much.
Later in life, Shirley much preferred the warmer weather, therefore she requested any memorial service be held in the Spring, her favourite season, with family and close friends in attendance.
Shirley's family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to all the people of Nakusp and Keremeos who contributed to Shirley's happiness and well-being, including Dr. Anchikoski, Dr. Kelland, Dr. Louw, Anne Miskulin and home support workers, the Red Hat Ladies, Canasta Club, RC Legion Br.#20, the United Church congregation, Loretta Letoria, Judy Adams, Colleen Guidon, the staff and residents of Kyalami Place and so many others.
To send flowers to Shirley's family, please visit our floral store.