Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 20, 2014

Shirley M. Eldred, 81


Andover — Shirley M. (Pilgrim) Eldred 81, of Andover, died on Friday morning, at Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill.

Shirley was born in Melrose on October 19, 1932, to the late Leslie and Evelyn (Ellsworth) Pilgrim.

Shirley attended Punchard High School in Andover, where she met Richard Eldred. They were married shortly after high school, and settled in Andover to raise a family, and she was a homemaker during most of those years. Shirley enjoyed knitting, reading, and feeding any birds, or animals that were in her yard.

She was employed as a secretary at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge until her retirement. After retiring, they would travel each winter to St. Augustine, Fla., and make several trips during the year to see the world or attend high school and Naval reunions.

The widow of the late Richard Eldred, who died in 2010, Shirley is survived by her two daughters, Lee Anne Surles and her husband, Billy, of Duke, Okla., and Paula Appleby and her husband, Thomas, of Andover. Also among her survivors are her five grandchildren, Kerri Brown, Heather Erickson, Allison McKew, Nicholas and Noah Appleby; and five great-grandchildren. Shirley enjoyed having them visit while in Florida for the winter.

The family appreciates all the love and support given by Atria Marland Place of Andover and the Merrimack Valley Hospice House of Haverhill during Shirley's struggles with brain cancer over the past year.

ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral service will be offered on Saturday, March 22, at 12 p.m., at the Conte Funeral Home, 28 Florence Street, Andover. Family and friends may call from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., prior to the service.

For directions or to offer condolences, please visit www.contefuneralhomes.com.