Shirley E. (Abare) Harper of Keene, NH died on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Cheshire Medical Center (Keene), just weeks after her 90th birthday. All of her children were with her in her final days, and she is missed by her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other family members.
Shirley was born the daughter of the late Anna (LaFord) and Charles Abare on April 6, 1927 in Athol, MA. She graduated from Troy High School and from Dresser Business School (Keene) before marrying the love of her life, Donald C. Harper, at St. Bernard’s Church in Keene, NH on June 30, 1947. Donald passed away on February 25, 1988, and Shirley mourned his loss until the day she died.
Shirley is survived by the large and loving family which was her most cherished treasure, the true joy of her heart. This includes her seven children and their spouses: Kathryn Harper of Keene, NH; Diane Harper of Swanzey, NH; Susan and Clark Jenkins of Atkinson, NH; Jane Harper and Mark Tucker of Eliot, ME; Mark and Kathy Harper of Webster, NY; Anne Marie Harper of Keene, NH; and Mary and Lance DelPriore of Brattleboro, VT. She is also survived by her sister, Ruth Hanrahan of Keene, and brother-in-law Norman Harper of Keene, as well as 12 grandchildren (Nico Alonso-Harper; Kelly and Abby Berkson; Ivan Jenkins; Becky Pugliese; Matthew and Michael Harper; and Lance, Derek, Lucas, Jack, and Olivia DelPriore), stepgrandson Douglas Berkson, seven great grandchildren (Amelia, Alice, Gianna, Ben, Harper, Willa, and Henry), and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Shirley was known as Nana to her own grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as to many others who were lucky enough to pass through her orbit. She loved her family, and her home: she welcomed visitors with open arms and many snacks, eager to hear about people’s adventures.
Services will be held at Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel, 44 Maple Ave, Keene, on Friday, April 28, 2017. Calling hours are from 9-11 AM. The service will begin at 11 with burial at St. Joseph’s following.