Shirley Ann Powers
March 7, 1936-Feb. 7, 2024
Palo Alto, United States
Grande Dame Shirley Powers passed away with her daughter and grandson by her side on February 7th, 2024. After spending her childhood freezing through the Wisconsin winters, she was thrilled to earn her bachelor’s degree in music and land in sunny California. Shirley dedicated her life to avant-garde pursuits such as combining her jazz compositions with her poetry, conquering every hiking trail in the Bay Area, kayaking through bevies of otters in Monterey Bay, and publishing poetry in progressive women’s anthologies. She had two great passions: fighting for social justice and John, her partner of 42 years. Together, they worked for change with endeavors such as producing content and working cameras for a local cable TV news show, marching to protect women’s right to choose, and singing with the international peace group, the Raging Grannies. Working with the Grannies allowed Shirley to combine her love of music, theatricality, and political protest. She took great pride when her local chapter was included on the FBI “To Be Watched” list. Beyond her high energy, charismatic, funny personality, Shirley was a big ball of love. She loved her daughters, Erin and Colleen, and her grandson, Ryan, with a warmth and enthusiasm that helped them learn to love others in the same way, leaving a beautiful legacy. Shirley liked to be thought of as a tough, smart-talking, outrageous fighter, and while true, she was also an incredibly loving mom and grandmother who will be terribly and forever missed.
Tags: arts/media, teacher/educator