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Shirley J. (Flinn) Waltermire

August 6, 1949 ~ June 9, 2022 (age 72)


Shirley Waltermire, 72, passed away June 9, 2022, at home peacefully resting with her beloved puppies at her side. She was born August 6, 1949, in Cleveland to the late Charles and Dorothy Flinn.


Shirley had a huge heart that she wore on her sleeve. She brought laughter and love to nearly everyone she met. Her family was constantly amazed at the lively conversations that she started with the most unlikely strangers. Many, many people counted her as a friend, even after a brief encounter. Her frequent Facebook posts became legendary for their passion, as the Queen of the Emojis.


Shirley is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, Thomas Waltermire; sons, Todd and Kevin (fiancée Mary); daughter, Heidi Waltermire (Mike Branes); grandchildren, Holmes, Everet, and June; brother, Douglas (Jean) Flinn; as well as friends too numerous to count.  Shirley and Tom have resided in the Portage Lakes area of greater Akron for over 15 years.  Shirley and Tom were high school sweethearts (Cuyahoga Falls 1967), continuing their extended courtship through college (University of Akron for Shirley and Ohio State for Tom). As Shirley adopted Ohio State as her spiritual Alma Mater, things Ohio State came to play a major role in their life, especially after Tom proposed marriage on the 50-yard line following the 1971 Rose Bowl. Shirley had to be coaxed to go onto the field because she was furious that OSU coach Woody Hayes had not followed her loudly delivered advice offered from the stands during the game which OSU lost.


With her big heart and creative mind, Shirley became an outstanding special education teacher, lifting the skills of many middle school children so they could have a better future. When her own children began to arrive (she was in labor with child #1 at Blossom Music Center for a full concert by Pavarotti), she devoted all her energies to her kids. Today the passion, caring, and creativity with which Todd, Kevin, and Heidi live their lives stems directly from their remarkable mother. Taking her training seriously, as a Girl Scout and Rainbow Girl Worthy Advisor, Shirley did good turns for people nearly every day. She was famous for always being prepared, perhaps overly so. Whether it was at the swimming pool or soccer game, all the kids knew that Mrs. Waltermire had what they needed in the big conversion van that became her trademark. Of course, as PTA president, more than one principal felt Shirley’s “passion”.


During those years Shirley was the hostess of the Hospitality Room for the World Series of Golf played at Firestone in Akron. More good friendships ensued with the wives of the golfers, who once again knew that Shirley had with her or could arrange anything they or their kids needed.  Shirley idolized Ben Crenshaw and he felt the same about her killer cinnamon biscuits.  As Tom’s business career progressed, Shirley, Tom, and their family were blessed with opportunities.  On many joint visits to far-flung manufacturing plants, Tom arrived as the boss and left known mainly as Shirley’s husband. Spring breaks at Fripp Island, SC, with kids and grandmothers, became a tradition for nearly 20 years. Multiple trips to The Masters, where the gift shop people became more of those fast friends. Cabo San Lucas when it was still quiet. The 1984 Olympics in LA. Edinburg, Scotland twice. 3 more Rose Bowls. Lake Como, Venice, and Amalfi along with Heidi’s Italian country wedding. Then there is the love affair with Grand Cayman, visiting Shirley’s beloved Sting Ray City, turtles, and fishy friends to whom she often spoke through her mask while snorkeling. Including 2022, that pilgrimage has continued for over 20 years. Even with knee replacements and some serious health issues, Shirley motored through. 


With the birth in Akron last September of June Caroline Flinn Waltermire, a new heart-filling experience for Shirley arrived, a local grandchild and a granddaughter to boot. UPS and FedEx deliveries tripled. Such a wonderful experience for Shirley to have the last year.  Her self-professed time of her life was just a few weeks before her passing, as Shirley and Tom enjoyed 3 weeks in Botswana and South Africa on Safari. Shirley said she never felt better and the twice-daily animal drives revealed wildlife scenes and drama that are nearly indescribable, all amplified by the time with dear friends as Safari companions and a brilliant guide. Shirley definitely went out on TOP.


Please join us in celebrating the remarkable life of Shirley Waltermire. An Open House with food and spirits will be held on Friday, August 26, 2022, from 6 to 10 P.M. at Blossom Music Center’s Knight Grove, 1145 W. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223 (Please park in Lot A).  A remembrance program will start promptly at 7:30 P.M.  Come dressed in business casual attire, and make sure to add some orange flair, just like Shirley!


Memorial contributions can be made in Shirley’s name to the Cleveland Orchestra/Blossom Music Center or call 216-456-8400, Cleveland Zoological Society’s Conservation Fund, or for the Adopt an African Elephant fund. To leave a special message online for the family, visit our website at


(330) 899-9107


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley J. (Flinn) Waltermire, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life Gathering
August 26, 2022

6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Blossom Music Center - Knight Grove
1145 Steels Corners Road
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223

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