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Born on August 14, 1934 in Golden Hill, Dorchester County, MD, the former Shirley Mae Gootee was the daughter of the late Copeland and Maybelle Riggins Gootee. At a very young age, her family moved to Cambridge. She attended public schools in Dorchester County and graduated from Cambridge High School, Class of 1952. She attended Western Maryland College, graduating Cum Laude, Class of 1956.
An educator for 33 years, Mrs. McWilliams began her career in Towson, MD but the majority of her tenure was with the Dorchester County Board of Education. While a teacher, she was elected president of Dorchester Educators for three terms and chosen by the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) as History Teacher of the Year. She was also selected as Dorchester County Teacher of the Year in 1990.
Mrs. McWilliams was an active member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for over fifty years. She was also a devoted member of the Gleaners Sunday School Class.
Mrs. McWilliams was elected Dorchester County’s first woman County Commissioner in 1990 and served as Commission President from 1990 to 1994. After retiring from teaching, Mrs. McWilliams served on several organizations and boards, including the Cambridge Zoning Board; Cambridge Millennium Board; Richardson Maritime Museum Board; Sailwinds Park; American Cancer Society Board; Department of Social Services Board; DAC Board (Dorchester Arts Center, now the Dorchester Center for the Arts); Senior Council County Board which she chaired for five years; member of the Dorchester Historical Society where she also served on the Board of Trustees; director on the MAC, Inc. Board (Maintenance on Aging in the Community) for the lower counties; a dedicated Auxiliarian, volunteering thousands of hours at the Dorchester General Hospital and where she also served as Auxiliary President for three years and seven years on the Dorchester General Hospital Board of Directors; member of Cambridge Elks Lodge #1272; former member of the Cambridge Quota Club; and devoted member of the Cambridge Rotary Club where she became a Paul Harris Fellow, served as president (1998 – 1999), was on the Board of Directors and chaired multiple committees. Most recently, she was President of the St. Mary’s Woods Residents Council from June 2009 – June 2010.
Surviving are two children, Bruce Patrick McWilliams and his wife Amanda of Cambridge, MD and Donna McWilliams Orr and her husband Richard of Richmond, VA; granddaughter Kailee Bullock; two nieces in Hurlock, Anne North and Debbie North Stafford and her husband Jack, and many cousins.
In addition to her parents, preceding her in death were two sisters, Betty Pepper and Jean North.
The family will receive friends at the Curran-Bromwell Funeral Home on Friday, August 13, 2010 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 14, 2010, where the family will also receive friends an hour prior to the service. Officiating at the service will be The Rev. Fred Bahr and The Rev. Dale Brown. Burial will follow at Dorchester Memorial Park. A memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Woods on August 24, 2010 at 4 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made in Mrs. McWilliams’ memory to the Cambridge Rotary Club Scholarship Fund, PO Box 703, Cambridge, MD 21613 or to the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation, PO Box 439, Cambridge, MD 21613. Memorial donations may also be made to St. Mary’s Woods, 1257 Marywood Lane, Richmond, VA 23229 or to Ridge Baptist Church, Attn: Transportation Ministry, 1515 Eastridge Road, Richmond, VA 23229.
Pallbearers will be Jack Stafford, Jimmy Hoffman, Larry Dail, Roger Harrell, Phil Reed, Jeff Hurley, Jerry Walsh, Jay Harrington, Rob Collison, Gage Thomas.
Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the Cambridge Rotary Club and the Gleaners Sunday School Class. In memory of her beloved dog, Riggins, Kenneth Burgwin, DVM, and Joanna McCoy, DVM are also honorary pallbearers.
Friday August 13, 2010 , 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM at Curran-Bromwell Funeral Home
Saturday August 14, 2010 , 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM at St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Saturday August 14, 2010 , 11:00 AM at St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Tuesday August 24, 2010 , 4:00 PM at St. Mary's Woods
1-888-579-7953 Code: 75133P
Facts Born: August 14, 1934
Place of Birth: Golden Hill, MD USA
Death: August 2, 2010
Place of Death: Richmond, VA USA
Cambridge Rotary Club Scholarship Fund, PO Box 703, Cambridge, MD 21613
The Dorchester General Hospital Foundation, PO Box 439, Cambridge, MD 21613
St. Mary's Woods, 1257 Marywood Lane, Richmond, VA 23229
Ridge Baptist Church, Attn: Transportation Ministry, 1515 Eastridge Road, Richmond, VA 23229.
Marlene Windsor Bruce and family, I did not know Mrs. McWilliams had passed. What a wonderful woman. She taught me so much in school, but she continued to teach after retirement. She will be sadly missed by the community. May God Bless each of you. My sincerest condolences. 09/21/2010 Levin & Effie M. Elzey Dear Family, I know you are sad with your loss of Shirley. She was a very cheerful and helpful person to all she met. She put her Christian faith into practice. She was a good example for each of you. May God bless you with strength to do His will. 08/14/2010 G. Tyrone Hicks Donna, our thoughts are with you as you to through this journey. We pray that God gives your strenght during this time. We are also there for you if you should need us. 08/13/2010 Terri Cheesman Mills Donna and Bruce, I know how hard this is.... Mom and her are probably in Heaven catching up on things and having a great time. We / They shared many great memories. I will never forget in Amsterdam when your mother took us to find "The Library". This was a bar in Amsterdam that your mom thought us kids needed to experience. That was a great thought, but she got us lost and we ended up in the "Red Light District". I think we got more of an education that night than what she intended at "The Library".... my thoughts and prayers are with you guys... 08/13/2010 Sandra Lee Gay Bruce & Donna, So sorry for your loss. Shirley was a great lady and will truly be missed! 08/12/2010 Marlene Jackson-Hamlin To the family of Mrs. McWilliams, I give you my deepest heartfelt condolences for your loss. Mrs. McWilliams was my history teacher in high school. She always had a wonderful smile for everyone. She touched so many lives and will be greatly missed by all. I pray that God will continue to keep you during this most difficult time. May God Bless you all. 08/11/2010 Denise Davis-Wright God has a new Angel. She will be greatly missed here on earth. Bruce and Donna take care of yourselves. You know what your mom would want you to do. God Bless 08/11/2010 A sympathy card has been sent to the family of Shirley G. McWilliams c/o Newcomb & Collins Funeral Home, P.A. funeral home. 08/11/2010 A sympathy card has been sent to the family of Shirley G. McWilliams c/o Newcomb & Collins Funeral Home, P.A. funeral home. 08/10/2010 Jeanne Loyd Dear Bruce and Amanda, My thoughts are with you during this time of loss. Your mother was truly a gift to us all. Her never ending volunteer work touched many lives in our county and state. She will always be remembered with great fondness. 08/10/2010 Billye Sue Watts Bruce, Donna and families, we were so sorry to hear about Shirley's passing, she fought a tough battle. We have fond memories of finally getting to meet her at your wedding Bruce, she wasa lovely lady. We love you and pray that God will help you through this tough time in your life. Billye sue, Kim, Kristin, matthew and families 08/09/2010 Catherine Kramer Gannon I attended Jr. High school in Cambridge with Shitley. I considered her one of the nicest person I knew. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.She will be sorely missed. 08/08/2010 Gwen Henry-Gilbert Donna and Bruce, I am so sad to hear of her passing. My thoughts are with you and your families. She was such an amazing woman and she truly had an impact on my life. I can't express to you how much she meant to so many of us. She will be greatly missed. 08/07/2010 jaimie carkuff i'm sorry to hear about this. she was a very nice and sweet lady. i enjoyed seeing her behind the information desk at dorchester general hospital. she will never be forgotten. 08/07/2010 A sympathy card has been sent to the family of Shirley G. McWilliams. 08/07/2010 Bonnie Brocato Bidwell Bruce, Donna and families, I was so sorry to hear about Shirley's passing. She was a wonderful neighbor and friend. May the fond memories you have of your Mom bring you comfort in your time of grief. 08/07/2010 PHYLLIS FRAZIER-JAMES TO THE FAMILY: SHE WAS A GREAT LADY AND A SHINING STAR IN OUR COMMUNITY. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HER GREAT PERSONALITY AND BEAUTIFUL SMILE. MY SINCEREST CONDOLENCES 08/05/2010 Betty Feldmeier You have my deepest expression of sympathy. My sister reminded me that Shirley did much for the support of retired teachers. Of course she will be remembered for her many years in the teaching profession. May God be with all of the family during this time. 08/05/2010 Meme Wells-Suznavick To her family- She cherished you and was proud of all your accomplishments. I will always remember working next to Shirley as a new teacher and could not understand how each and every child gave her so much respect...she called them funny names, she laughed with them, she got them to work....now years later I know she was a master teacher. I hope my students admire me as much as her students did. She was my mentor, my friend and a professional. The world has lost a fine woman and an excellent teacher. My thoughts and prayer are with you during these trying times. She has touched the lives of many in many different ways... all good....take comfort in that and the fact she loved you. 08/05/2010 John Harris Bruce, So sorry to hear about Shirley. I am sorry I can't be there Friday or Saturday, I will be working, but I will have your family in my thoughts and prayers. She was a wonderful person and a great inspiration to all the children she taught. I am sorry for your loss. Sincerely, John Harris 08/05/2010 A sympathy card has been sent to the family of Shirley G. McWilliams. 08/05/2010 LINDA PHILLIPS May you many happy mamories give you strength. 08/05/2010 Mike Parks Bruce, Donna and family, May God bless you all in this time of grief and sorrow but take comfort in the memories you have to always hold on to. Know how many lives she touched....including this one. I have become the teacher I am today because of your mom. Yet, no words can describe the type of caring individual she was to all whom she met, taught, nurtured. From being one of the "East Cambridge kids" to the Banner Boy to student, apprentice and colleague she sparked my love of history and of travel. I will be forever indebted to the lessons your mom taught me....I only know she is continuing her passion for teaching in a much better place. Thousands in Dorchester owe so much to Shirley ! Her motto of dream big, achieve greatness and never forget your roots will always be close to my heart. Mike 08/04/2010 Steve Lane Donna, Many sympathies to you and your family. If we are to experience the joys of including others in our lives, then a difficult goodbye at one life's end is inevitable. May you find comfort in God, the one link you still have to your mother, and comfort in knowing that your mother has entered a life indescribably more beautiful than this earthly one, and that you will meet up with her again someday. Condolences and Peace. Steve 08/04/2010 Scottie Marshall May the many wonderful memories of your Mom help you through this difficult time. She was a wonderful teacher who has left an impact on many of her former students and the utmost citizen. I feel so fortunate to have known her. She will be remembered well by many and truly missed. God bless Shirley and may God bless her family and friends. 08/04/2010 Kerrie Jones Bunting RIP, Mrs McWilliams. You were a wonderful, no-nonsense teacher with dedication. Your kind doesnt exist any more. My prayers are with Bruce and your family! 08/03/2010 Faith Campbell Bruce and family,Sorry to hear about this..... She was a sweet woman.... 08/03/2010 Lois D. Darr Bruce, I am sorry to hear of your loss. I only met your Mom a few times but thought she was a very sweet lady. May her memory be a blessing to you. Sadie and I miss all of you. 08/03/2010
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