GILBERTSVILLE — Shirley Musson, 71, of Gilbertsville, passed away at home on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, surrounded by her loving family.
At the time of her death she was Gilbertsville’s first female mayor, a position she had held for several years.
She was born near Utica, the daughter of Leona and Leroy Dewey, silk mill weavers who moved to various communities throughout New York as employment dictated. They settled in Hancock, where Shirley attended high school.
After graduation, she found work in the cost accounting department of the Scintilla plant in Sidney. To facilitate the commute, she moved into the home of relatives in Gilbertsville and loved that village, enjoyed it, served it, and became an important part of its fiber for the next 50 years.
She married a local, Raymond Musson, and raised their three children, Floyd, Jeff and Susan, there. During their school years she rarely missed a sporting event or a class trip, and prided herself in being the community’s “premier chaperone.”
She considered Gilbertsville a wonderful place to raise a family and was pleased that her grandchildren, Dereck, Felicia and Brittany, are enjoying their lives in Gilbertsville.
Her other grandchildren, Jordan and Floyd, live in England and recently surprised her on her 70th birthday by coming to New York, when her husband lovingly orchestrated for her the “best party” of her life.
Shirley was never idle. She was a farm wife, extraordinary mother, village librarian, bookkeeper, and for 16 years she served her school district as its treasurer.
When she retired and was asked what she was going to do with her leisure days, she replied, “I’m going to be mayor of Gilbertsville.” In that role, she capably guided the village through many challenges, including the devastating flood of 2006, for which she procured $2.5 million in flood relief money.
Her most recent gift to Gilbertsville was establishing the “Bread of Life” free lunch program, now in its second successful year.
Perhaps her greatest life achievement was her inability to make enemies. She was well liked, respected and sure to be greatly missed.
There will be no calling hours.
A memorial service for Shirley will be held at the Baptist Church of Gilbertsville on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Kurt Funke and the Rev. Donna Steckline officiating. Private burial will be at the convenience of the family.
Those who wish are asked to consider donations to the Catskill Area Hospice, 1 Birchwood Drive. Oneonta, NY 13820 in Shirley’s memory.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.johnstonfh.com
Arrangements are by the Johnston Funeral home of Morris.