Shirley Leona Weetman was born Feb. 21, 1935 in Meadow Lake, Sask. the youngest of nine children born to Russell and Freda Craig.
Shirley’s father was a grain farmer.
In 1945 he sold the homestead and moved the family to Enderby in the Okanagan.
Shirley was 10 when she started school in Enderby where she graduated, married Morley Garratt in June of 1954 and started her family.
Their first child Linda Gay was born Nov. 2, 1954.
Shirley lived in Enderby and raised Linda while Morley attended University in Victoria to pursue his teaching career.
Their second child William Russell was born in Enderby in Nov. 21, 1956.
In 1958 the family moved to Surrey where Morley started his teaching career.
Living in a big city was a huge change for Shirley.
Nov. 29, 1960 Shirley gave birth to twins Tammy Jean and Terry Craig.
She had no idea she was carrying twins until the nurse placed baby number two in her arms.
Raising four children ages six and under, Shirley was busy.
In 1965 times were getting financially tough for the family living on one income so Shirley took a full time job at the Dare Cookie Factory in Surrey and started a fulfilling 10-year career. She became the voice of the people and was the union representative and negotiator for her co-workers at Dare Foods.
It wasn’t easy for her to juggle full time work, raise a family and commit to the demands of a union representative but Shirley could always accept responsibility, stand up and do what needed to be done.
Shirley fought for fairness and better working conditions for her fellow co-workers and earned the respect of Dare Food representatives and their employees when she negotiated a fair contract for both sides.
In 1965 Morley and Shirley joined the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 175 in Newton. Shirley would have celebrated 50 years with the Legion Ladies Auxiliary this year.
The legion was a source of pride for Shirley as she always had a deep respect for the military, the wars and the veterans who served in them.
Shirley also acquired a passion for baseball, keeping score at games when sons, Bill and Terry played Little League. She became chief scorekeeper and stats keeper for the Kennedy Surrey Little League and could tell you the batting averages for each and every child playing baseball in that league.
She used to say that if the scorekeeper recorded the game properly any coach could look at it after the game and it would tell him exactly how the game was played.
In 1972 daughter, Linda, married and moved to to the Doyle Ranch on the Chimney Lake Road near Williams Lake.
Shirley and Morley had been having marital problems and divorced in 1972, leaving Shirley single with three children at home. She continued to work at Dare Foods, volunteered at the Legion and stayed active in Little League.
While visiting Linda one Stampede weekend she met rancher Wilfred Weetman, a handsome widower who lived down the road from Linda and her family.
Smitten almost at first sight, Shirley and Wilfred travelled back and forth to see one another and on Oct. 10, 1975 they were married and started their ranching life together at Brunson Lake with their blended family of four children.
Shirley became a happy rancher’s wife. Her family was complete, or so she thought. She started to feel poorly so off to the doctor she went.
A barrage of tests were completed and every one came back negative except one. Shirley was pregnant.
On Sept. 27, 1976, Robert Wilfred Weetman was born.
People who visited the ranch were welcomed by Shirley with open arms, a huge smile, a drink and usually a meal.
Shirley enjoyed gardening and loved animals. One of her cherished outdoor friends was a big black crow named Doc. It also wasn’t unusual to find an orphaned calf she was nursing back to health in the basement.
Branding the first weekend in May with all the family, friends and children was Shirley’s favourite time of year. She would cook for a week prior to the event and always made sure the children had everything they needed to enjoy the event, food, juice, treats and toys.
When their children were grown with children of their own, she rejoined the legion ladies auxiliary. After Wilfred passed away it was Shirley’s legion friends who gave her the strength to carry on.
Shirley passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at the Williams Lake Seniors’ Village.
She leaves to mourn her daughter Linda and husband Vaughn, son Bill and his wife Lori, daughter Tammy and son Terry, son Wade and his wife Kathy, son Robert and fiancé Amy, and Ashley, mother to Willoughby.
Shirley was also blessed with nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who were the apple of her eye: grandchildren and their spouses, Bob and Rochelle, Mandi and Shane, Nick and Sara, Kirsten, Justine, Emily, Ethan, Kiera and Willoughby, and great-grandchildren Harley and Dallas.
Shirley’s siblings Fritz, Melvin, Clara, Druella, Bertha, Delta, Robert and Lenore all were raised and grew up on the family farm with her.
Fritz and Lenore predeceased Shirley while she was just a child.
Shirley also leaves so very many cherished nieces, nephews, family members and friends.