Shirley I.'s Story

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Shirley Inez (Bennett) Dion, passed away from the effects of a third stroke on May 11th at Avow Hospice of Naples after a brief stay.
Born in Salem, Mass., she was the daughter of Gladys S. Bennett and Cecil B. Bennett of Georgetown, as well as the sister of Donald P. Bennett of Carlsbad, Calif., all of whom predeceased her.
Shirley is survived by her loving husband and caregiver of 68 years, Elmer L. J. Dion; daughters, Dwyn C. Dion of Naples, Fla., and Janine and her husband, Moe Skula of Naples, Fla.; a son, Wayne Dion and his wife, Sueanne of Hemet, Calif.; beloved grandchildren, Christine Skula and Emily Skula of Naples, Fla.; and godchild, Beth and her husband, Kevin Layfield of Beverly, and Lighthouse Point, Fla.
After graduating from Lynn English High School, Lynn, Mass. in 1947, she was employed by New England Tel&Tel initially working in the accounting office and then was promoted to Supervisor. Shirley and Elmer married in 1949 and resided in Salem, Mass. In 1963 she and her husband, Elmer, moved from Salem, Mass. to Kittery, Maine where they started Dion’s Yacht Yard, Inc., a yacht rebuilding and repair company which became internationally known for quality yacht workmanship. Shirley was Vice President and Treasurer of the corporation managing the office staff as well as raising three children at home. After selling the yacht yard in 1999, Shirley and Elmer retired to lovely Naples. Shirley often remarked, “I love Naples!”.
Shirley was a kind, loving wife, mother, friend and business partner who never complained or passed judgement but always sought to understand others. She loved teaching her grandchildren old songs, rhymes, and poems and just passing time with them. In 2008 Shirley was awarded the Joslin Fifty-Year Medal from the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA which recognized the remarkable achievement of successfully living with insulin-dependent diabetes for 50 years or more. The tribute was extended for her “conscientious and courageous attention to the many difficult details involved in successfully living with diabetes over these may years."
A memorial service will be held at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, Rattlesnake Hammock Road, Naples, FL on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Diabetes Association would be appreciated. Condolences may be left online at www.HodgesNaplesMG.com.
Published on  May 18, 2017
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