We are saddened to share that Shirlee Sidoti Cunningham, of Chagrin Falls, lost her battle with cancer on September 9, 2021. Shirlee was born February 5, in a year I think she’d prefer I not mention… she was very much of the persuasion that age is mere perception rather than a fact to be shared. She celebrated her 39th birthday a dozen times before we all became wise to the implausibility of another 39th year and opted to just drop the number reference. Shirlee was a Texan through and through…though she was actually born in Columbia, South Carolina, a fact rarely shared. When very young, her family moved to the small Texas town, Bonham and since was deemed a native Texan…almost. Shirlee was the epitome of perfection in high school – straight A student, head cheerleader, homecoming queen, all class favorite, even recruited by the football coach to teach his players ballet. She was loved by everyone… writing about her numerous achievements is exhausting. She studied English at the University of Texas (Hook ‘em!) and while she put her degree to good use in various professional roles, it’s seemingly primary use, to this writer, was to correct her daughters’ grammar with alarming frequency. Based on the numerous grammatical errors in this obituary, it is clear we relied on, and sincerely miss, her expertise in this area. The most significant part of Shirlee’s professional career was spent with her Althan’s Insurance family celebrating birthdays with pie, barbeques with dogs, and, last but not least, brokering insurance policies.
Shirlee was beautiful inside and out, steadfast in her faith and beliefs, and we love and will miss her dearly.
Shirlee is survived by her devoted partner, Michael Gary, two daughters Shannon Smith (Todd Smith) of Phoenix, AZ, Nina Holton (Nick Holton) of Nashville, TN, and two 4-legged canine children, Ellie and Workshop. Shirlee relished her role as Mimi to Savannah, Cole, Charlie, and Emery and managed to create unique and special relationships with each grandchild.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. Jude’s through a memorial fund in Shirlee’s name. A service honoring her will be held at St Joan of Arc Catholic Church on Friday, September 17th at 11:30 AM. A celebration of life reception will be held at Burntwood Tavern, 504 E. Washington St. immediately following.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirlee Sidoti Cunningham, please visit our floral store.