Shirley Ilene Brown

September 12, 1937July 28, 2021

Shirley Ilene Brown (nee Owen) formerly of Chatham, Ontario, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at Southlake Residential Care Village in Newmarket, Ontario.

Born in Mull, Ontario in 1937, daughter of the late William Owen (1962) and Mildred Owen (1989), of Chatham-Kent. Predeceased by her husband Roy H. Brown of Chatham (1982) and brother, Brian Owen (2014). Survived by her sister, Kathleen Lindsay of Burnaby, BC.

Loving mother to Laurie (Jeff) Irwin of Aurora, Mark Brown and Kevin Brown both of Newmarket. Best Gram of Megan and Katherine Irwin of Aurora and Sara and Victoria Brown.

Lovingly remembered by her extended family of Julie Campbell (Craig), Elizabeth Lindsay, Barbara Easter (Dave), Robert Owen (Natasha), Lindsay Campbell, Ethan Campbell (Bonnie), Ben Easter, Maddy Easter and Aden Campbell and Carol Smith.

Shirley was a dedicated elementary school teacher in Chatham-Kent for many years and enjoyed keeping up with ‘her kids’ as much as possible. After retirement from the Kent County Separate School Board in 1994, she made the big move to Aurora, Ontario where most of her family had now settled. In Aurora, she met many good friends at the Aurora Seniors Centre, and took painting classes as well as belonged to her most favourite Book Club. She was an avid reader (her favourite author of late being Louise Penny) and when she was more mobile, loved to go out for dinners and lunch at Swiss Chalet and Jonathan’s. Many thanks to the ‘ladies of the book club’ who kept in touch with her during this most difficult period of isolation as a result of COVID and various hospitalizations.

Shirley used to say that she ‘lived for her granddaughters’. She was so proud of them and loved to hear about their various adventures. She was fortunate to live very close by and at least before Covid enjoyed frequent visits, shopping trips and meals together with them.

Dedicated mom, grandmother, friend. Shirley loved to draw, paint with watercolour, craft with her girls, read historical novels, do the weekly Toronto Star crossword puzzle and shop(!). Although she suffered oftentimes greatly from the pain and disability of arthritis over the past several years, she kept her sense of humour and grace through to her last day.

The family wishes to thank and appreciate the staff Southlake Residential Care Village - specifically Noel, Jocelyn, Wilma, Samantha, Franco and Moshe - to name only a few. Also we would be remiss not to thank Candy, for the years of special nursing care and support she gave to mom both at her own apartment and at Kingsway Place. The staff and volunteers at Kingsway Place were amazing, and she truly considered Kinsgway her home and was determined to make her way back there somehow.

As was her request, Shirley has been cremated and arrangements will be made for an Internment at Evergreen Cemetery in Blenheim, Ontario at a later date where her family will gather safely to celebrate her life.

If you wish to make a memorial donation, please consider one of these favourite charities of hers: the Sheldrake Wildlife Trust - an elephant rescue and sanctuary ( or GlobalMedic (


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Shirley Ilene Brown

have a memory or condolence to add?

Paula Spano-Beaudet

August 16, 2021

Laurie, Mark, Kevin, and families
I am sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I was lucky to have met her in my first year of teaching( 1971). What a devoted and caring teacher she was. She showed me the ‘ropes’ as you would say. A great mentor indeed. May your treasured memories of her give you comfort during this most difficult time.
Take care.
Paula Beaudet

liz lebert

August 13, 2021

Shirley was my grade 6 teacher at St. Ambrose. I think she taught most of the 7 kids in my family. I also went to high school with her son Mark and lived at the other end of Chestnut Drive in Chatham.
My condolences to all the family

Mary Marchand

August 13, 2021

Dear Laurie:

I was saddened today to read in the Chatham Daily News of the passing of your Mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you. She was such a loving and kind person and I know you loved her dearly. She was known as a special teacher in the Chatham area and she was the best "Mom" a teacher would wish for. When you were in my Major Work Class at Sprucedale, she was always there to help or support our class whether it was a class trip or food for a special day. May she rest in peace.

Mary Alice Marchand (aka Miss McInnis)

Bill & Sue Dow

August 13, 2021

Remembering our friendship with Shirley in Chatham. Always had so much fun with our card get- togethers and dinners. Carpooled with her when we taught together in Tilbury. Remembering all the good times. Our condolences to Shirley’s family during this difficult time.

Betty Dawson

August 13, 2021

Remembering Shirley as one of the members of a group in Chatham who got together for dinner and cards. What fun times we had. Thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.

Eleanor DeBresser

August 13, 2021

Fondly remember Shirley from her teaching days in Chatham - condolences to the family

Eleanor DeBresser

Marg Moriyama

August 13, 2021

Kevin, Mark, Laura, my prayers are with you in the sudden loss of your mother. Remembering you all from days with the camping program through VAUC and praying for God's comfort at this sad time. Marg Moriyama

Julie Campbell

August 5, 2021

Aunt Shirl will be lovingly remembered for all of the fun times - family Christmas gatherings, great times at the cottage, and more recently the times I was able to visit for her "milestone" birthdays. Laurie, Mark and Kev - sending our love across the many miles to all of you. xoxo

Lynda Sadlowski

August 3, 2021

Laurie, Jeff, Megan, Katherine, Mark, Kevin and extended family. Have always admired Shirley’s strength especially during this difficult period of life, her bubbly nature and kindness will truly be missed. Thinking of you all, Lynda, Don, Sam and Dylan.

Martha Bridel

August 3, 2021

I was so very sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. I met Shirley through the Book Club at the Aurora Seniors Centre, and I always knew that Shirley would keep us laughing.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you throughout these difficults.

Sheri Bridel