Shirley Rachael Turkstra

December 16, 1931October 6, 2020

Shirley Mary Rachael Turkstra died peacefully at home surrounded by her family. She was 88 years old, beloved mother of Lyn, Greg, and David, mother-in-law of Erwin and Jetta; friend to Jenny and Henry, adored grandmother of Ally, Cassie, Maryama and Jamila; and great-grandmother to Nate, Chloe, and Lucy. She is predeceased by her parents, Tom and Muriel.

Shirley was a teacher of children, an innovator, and a leader in her field. She won ‘Woman of the Year’ and numerous other accolades for countless initiatives on behalf of children, and she never stopped learning, even long after leaving the workforce.

While she battled cancer for a third of her life, she refused to let it dictate her lifestyle or dampen her outlook. Known for her wit and charm, she lived and died on her own terms.

Shirley was a wonderful mother and grandmother. Nothing mattered more to her. From the birth of her first child, she put her family before anything, and her love for her family was unwavering and unconditional. She will be deeply missed. In keeping with Covid-19 restrictions, a private family service will be held followed by a cremation.

In lieu of flowers or cards a donation to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated and can be made here:


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


Shirley Rachael Turkstra

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Wilson

October 19, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Shirley's passing. As a young student at Mohawk College enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Program I was so lucky to do a placement at St. Mark's Co-Op Preschool in Dundas with "Mrs. Turkstra and Mrs. Joan Sandilands." I learned so much from these ladies- they were always kind and thoughtful and I have many great memories from my time with them both. I went on to be Supervisor of a Co-Op Preschool for over 40 years and much of what I learned from Shirley I applied to my own school. Thank you Shirley.

Darlene Romanic

October 18, 2020

I worked with Shirley at the Anshe Solome temple. Shirley become
a dear friend to me and my husband Hans. I will remember Shirley
for her kindness, gernerousity and great sense of humour.
Shirley always memtioned her children to me and she was so proud
of them.
Rest in peace, dear friend.

Karyn Callaghan

October 11, 2020

Shirley was a leader in the Early Childhood Education community - a giant, with a marvellous sense of humour. I gave her a little clay pot that had the words, "Shirley you jest" printed on it. I was sure the potter must have met her, it was such a perfect fit. She didn't just take me in as a friend, she took my whole family in. We often crossed paths at the Rockton Fair. No wonder the fair isn't happening this year. No Shirley.
Our condolences to her beloved children, grandchildren and great-grands. We will miss her twinkle.
Karyn, Jason and Rachel (Shirley was sure we named our daughter after her...)

Marilyn Meagher

October 11, 2020

Ahhh Shirley! Just her name brings a smile to my face and a bubble of laughter threatens to emerge ! Her wit and sarcasm will be sorely missed , she was always a highlight at the Metro . I greatly admired Shirleys intellect and independence, she was an advocate for women and children long before it was fashionable . A life well lived and well loved , I shall miss her and treasure my memories of our chats .my condolences to her family , no one will ever love you like your Mother ! Sincerely marilyn meagher

Paul Chappel

October 10, 2020

I am so sorry to read of Shirley's death. In the years I lived as her neighbour she was the sweetest, most hilarious, and dear, loving friend anyone could hope to find.

Loved it when her Mother came to visit so I could chat with them both over the fence, or on Shirley's back deck.

I wish I'd kept better in touch, but when I did see Shirley around town, she had a glorious smile, a warm hug, and that flirtatious look of hers (with those firey, sparkling eyes, which could lay waste to a malefactor of any description, and convey love with a warm honesty that I believe taught us all who knew her about how to treat others).

She kept us up to date with her family's comings and goings with pride, and that huge, loving smile that could warm the coldest day in an instant. A one-of-a-kind, and a gem, I love you Shirley, and I can't wait to sit with you and your Mom on the other side and giggle away a warm afternoon or maybe millennium or two.

Darlene Edmonds

October 8, 2020

Shirley - we love you and miss you - your “girls” 💕

We cherish all of our wonderful memories you helped us create!

We all came together and created HWIN- and were leaders in Intergenerational programming in the Hamilton Region!

Then the next chapter of our friendship unfolded- we were blessed to have created so many wonderful and funny memories for the past two decades! Which will live on- through your “girls”

We have pictures, so many stories , enough to fill Volume one and volume two.- never to be published!

You became my role model, I so admired your sense if self worth, the strength and determination that you showed- nothing ever stopped you!

Thank you for your friendship-
Sending much love and hugs to all of Shirley’s beloved family!

Shirley will always be with us- when we gather! ✨💕✨
Susan, Darlene & Alyson
~Shirleys Girls! ~

Kathy Crowe

October 8, 2020

I was very saddened to hear of Shirley’s passing . She was a warm , funny , sassy lady who loved her family fiercely.
Shirley will be greatly missed by many .

Alyson Johnson

October 8, 2020

Hugs and caring thoughts to Shirley’s family. Shirley was and will always be a very special person in my life. Us ‘girls’ have soooo many memories, stories, laughs and inside jokes that I will cherish forever. Shirley was my friend, my sister, my mother, my therapist and my Queen. She has ventured with me through careers, boyfriends, marriage and through the birth and growth of my children.

She was one of the strongest woman I’ve met who loved her family with every inch of her soul. She was so proud of every one of you. Keep your house cool and think of your Mom/Grammy. We will miss you dearly Shirley ~ Love The baby of the group xoxo

Marlene and jack Verduyn

October 7, 2020

Shirley will always have a special place in my heart . Many condolences to all the family members.


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