Shirley  Couillard

Shirley Ella Couillard

1936 - 2023

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Obituary of Shirley Ella Couillard

It is with much love that we announce Shirley’s peaceful passing with family by her side at Hospice Waterloo Region on April 6, 2023, at the age of 86. Beloved wife of the late Paul Couillard (2012). Cherished by her friend Murray Bauman of Waterloo. Dear mother of Nancy Zorgdrager (Brent) of Kitchener and Peter Couillard (Brittany Robinson) of Peachland, BC. Loving grandmother of Bradley, Andrew (Emily Cunningham) and Hilary Zorgdrager and proud great-grandmother of Noah Zorgdrager. Survived by her sister-in-law, Betty Couillard. She was predeceased by her teenage brother, John; sister, June MacKinnon; brothers-in-law, Harold MacKinnon, Jack Couillard and John Cook; sister-in-law, Nancy Cook; nephew, Bruce Cook and niece, Judy Wood. Remembered by Fran Ball and several nieces and nephews.


Shirley was born to Hedley and Amelia Spence on June 20, 1936, in the village of Hunter River, PEI where she grew up and was married on her birthday in 1959 at the Hunter River United Church. She and her Ontario-raised husband lived in various cities across Canada; Corner Brook, North Bay, Montreal, Whitehorse, Toronto and Cambridge, finally settling in Kitchener in 1967, where they created a loving home for their children.


Shirley was a vibrant lady with the gift of creativity expressed in many forms. She could sew anything, drew and painted, decorated fabulous birthday cakes for family and friends, was an excellent cook, hosted numerous dinner parties, excelled at flower arranging and craft projects. Her grandchildren remember fun times in Nana’s large craft room and the gingerbread houses she baked from scratch and decorated with them every Christmas. After raising her children, she taught microwave cooking throughout Ontario and wrote three cookbooks featuring these recipes. She was proud to attend university (WLU) as a mature student and graduated with a Fine Arts degree in 2004. She was a part of Beta Sigma Phi all her adult life and made many lasting friendships through sorority. She was actively involved both in the community and in church congregations wherever she and Paul lived. She liked to play games, in particular, Bridge, Scrabble and SkipBo and enjoyed the daily crossword puzzle.


Shirley lived independently until mid-January 2023 when she fell and broke her hip; later another fall dislocated this hip. After two successful surgeries, we were all surprised when metastatic cancer was discovered in early March. A few weeks later, she moved to the Sunshine Centre at Luther Village for a brief two week stay before being transferred to Hospice Waterloo Region on April 1st where she died in the early morning of April 6th. We are grateful for the life we shared with her.


Thanks to the many wonderful nurses on 6 North and South at Grand River Hospital, to Dr. Chopra, Dr. Omar, Dr. Barnes and Dr. Tan and to Lorrie Shantz who coordinated Shirley’s palliative care. Also thank you to the caring staff at Luther Village who demonstrated empathy to Shirley as she became surprisingly dependent and needing of assistance. Heartfelt thanks to the staff and volunteers at Hospice Waterloo Region, who blessed Shirley and her family with compassion and care. Shirley’s family will receive relatives and friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00p.m on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at Erb & Good Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo. A private family interment will be held at Calvary United Church Cemetery, St. Jacobs.


As expressions of sympathy, donations to Hospice Waterloo Region would be appreciated and can be arranged through the funeral home




6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Erb & Good Family Funeral Home
171 King Street South
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada