Shirley Widdowson Carlson

Shirley Widdowson Carlson

died peacefully on Aug. 31, at Friends Home in Kennett Square, where she resided for nearly two years. Shirley was born on Nov. 7, 1934, in Connellsville, the eldest of 11 children to Raymond and Emma Widdowson.

She met her dear husband, Peter, in Pittsburgh while attending Shadyside School of Nursing, where she obtained her RN degree. They married on Jan. 6, 1956. They were married nearly 61 years until his death in December of 2016.

Shirley is survived by her four children: Jon(Agnes) Carlson, Pete Carlson, Sandie (Nick) Grieshaber and Barbara (Roger) Pauly; her grandchildren: Andrew Carlson, Matthew, Julia and Chloe Grieshaber and Magnus and Trevor Pauly; brothers: Stanley, Arthur, Charles, Paul and David and sisters: Linda and Leslie. In addition to her husband and parents, Shirley was predeceased by her brothers Allen, Harry and Kelly.

Shirley received her bachelor of science degree in nursing at Ohio University in 1980 while residing in Parkersburg, WVa. While living in West Virginia, she also served as president of the League of Women Voters and the Mental Health Association. As a member of the Board of Health, she took pride in her meetings with Jay Rockefeller, governor of West Virginia during that time, as she pushed for legislation on the Clean Air Act and rights for the disabled, among other issues. She was an advocate for those with intellectual disabilities and hosted Christmas parties for them in her home for many years.

Following Peter’s return to the DuPont Experimental Station in 1984, Shirley worked for 10 years as a psychiatric nurse at Paoli Hospital. Shirley brought smiles to everyone she met and was a friend to all. Her greatest joy was being a wife, mother and most especially a grandmother. She absolutely adored her grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Friends Home of Kennett Square for the kind compassionate care they gave our mom during the past two years.

There will be a Memorial Service in celebration of Shirley’s life on Saturday, November 10th at 11:00 a.m. at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to


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