Shirley Homer Dawson, 87, a long time resident of Orlando, passed away Saturday, January 7, 2023. Shirley was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania to Eva Lucille Donaldson Homer and Ross Lon "RL" Homer. She was the youngest in her family and was pre-deceased by brother Duard Ross Homer and sisters Betty Lucille Homer Mulcahy and Dorothy "Dot" Alene Homer Ammann. She is survived by two sisters-in-law, Marian Dawson Day and Ann Marie Dawson Show, both of New Castle, PA.
Shirley met the love of her life, Russell Samuel Dawson, on a double date while in school at New Castle High School. After high school, Shirley started work at the local telephone company, Pennsylvania Bell. She and Russ continued dating and she waited for him to return from serving in the Army from 1953 to 1955, during the Korean War. They were married May 7, 1957 in New Castle. After vacationing in Florida in 1959, Shirley and Russ were excited about Shirley's opportunity to transfer with Bell Telephone to either Tampa or Orlando. They chose Orlando, becoming residents of the Sunshine State in 1960.
Shirley and Russ were married for 63 years before Russ passed away in May of 2020. They enjoyed many hobbies together over the years. Shirley and Russ became collectors after settling in their home in College Park. Early on, they collected cut glass, depression glass and antique furniture. They even opened an antique store on Edgewater Drive in College Park for about a year. Once they had the collecting bug, they also became interested in other items that could potentially grow in value over time - coins, Avon perfume bottles, Jim Beam bottles and even Beanie Babies. Russ always had an interest in cars. When he inherited his mother's antique Buick, Shirley and Russ got more involved with the Buick Club of America and the AACA - Antique Automobile Club of America. They made some wonderful friends and traveled the country showing their growing number of cars. Shirley and Russ and their 56 Buick Century Convertible were featured on the cover of the national Car Exchange Magazine. They were also invited to drive their convertible cars in several parades at Disney - some with Mickey and Minnie perched in the back of their car. They also drove their 56 Buick Convertible in the opening ceremonies at Super Bowl 20 in New Orleans and transported Randy White.
Shirley worked for the Bell Telephone system for her entire career. She saw it transition from Florida Bell to Bell South and eventually to AT&T. Her years of service meant that she was part of the Bell "Pioneers" and she kept in touch with many of her co-workers and fellow Pioneers. She continued to love talking on the phone and kept in contact with many family members, friends and co-workers. Her phone list was important and went everywhere with her.
Even though Shirley did not have any children of her own, she cherished her family and was a devoted and loving aunt to three generations of nieces and nephews. Three of them pre-deceased Shirley - Anna Lucille Mulcahy West, Thomas Ross Mulcahy and Patricia Ann Homer McLure. She is survived by Richard S. Ammann, Jr. of Transfer, PA, Kenneth Ross Ammann of Greenville, PA, Susan Alene Ammann Williams of Vine Grove, KY, John William Ammann of Transfer, PA and Kimberly Beth Mulcahy Lindenfeld of Spring, TX. Shirley was like a grandmother to her great-nephew Michael Joseph Mulcahy of Altamonte Springs, FL, her great-niece Laura Jean Mulcahy Gorman of Satellite Beach, FL and great-nephew Ryan Alexander Lindenfeld of Conroe, TX. Shirley delighted in the time she got to share with Laura's children, her great-great nephew Jacob and great-great nieces Molly and Leah.
In addition to her family, Shirley leaves behind many cherished friends as well as devoted caregivers. Shirley's life will be celebrated Friday, January 20 at Highland Memory Gardens, 3329 E Semoran Blvd, Apopka, FL 32703. Viewing will begin at 9am followed by the service at 11am. The service will be streamed live and recorded for later viewing at www.highlandfh.com
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