With heartbreak, we announce the passing of Shirley Violet Blauser of Six Points, Allegheny Twp, Butler Co, PA on Sunday, 23 Jan 2022. Born Dec 1932 in Wilkinsburg, Allegheny Co., PA, she passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 89, but not before enjoying her favorite Christmas traditions surrounded by family and close friends.
Shirley was a strong-willed, independent woman and a respected family matriarch who thrived on helping others. Her energetic love of nature traces back to teenage years growing up on the family farm. Shirley described her early life as dominated by relentless farm work and raising her younger brother and sister. Her responsibilities prevented her from enjoying social activities with peers and pursuing a lifelong dream of becoming a dancer or even a movie star.
Married 6 Aug 1949 at the age of 16, she quickly became the mother to three boys by the age of 21. She and her husband Richard left the farm for more steady employment and raised her family in the Pittsburgh area. She always told the story of the first house they bought in Verona on Sisto St which was also occupied by a friendly family of rats living behind their large coal furnace in the basement; and with wind whistling through gaps in the upstairs walls they stapled pieces of cardboard to bare wood framing as a cheap form of insulation.
They later moved to Penn Hills on Signor Ln where they spent years working hard to put three sons through college. Shirley’s work ethic and generosity were legendary, claiming her proudest accomplishment was raising her family properly by passing strong values unto her three sons.
Her entrepreneurial success included the establishment of a popular local restaurant “Cherry Valley Delite”; and a long history, together with her husband, of successful ‘house flipping’ (decades before the term was popularized) and supporting his myriad of business ventures. As a result of years of hard work and smart decision making, they were able to transform their initial life of near poverty and in 1996 purchased a 500-acre farm near Six Points where they both lived out the rest of their lives. Their legacy sets an example for us all.
Although Shirley had dogs throughout her life, her last therapy dog Toby was perhaps her favorite, and was showered with love after rescuing him from a moving sale and a cruel fate. A love - yet paradoxical fear - of birds, and passion for planting flowers is witnessed on Shirley’s farm by an abundant display of bird-houses, feeders, flowers, and whimsical ceramic creatures scattered about fence posts, trees, woodland trails. She and Toby enjoyed taking people on trail rides in her golf cart to see how many they could find. Her life-long disappointments were not having traveled enough and never visiting relatives in her ancestral home of England.
She was considered a trusted listener, thoughtful, and offered support and sage advice from a depth of experience. Her house and phone line were always a busy hub of activity; talking to friends and family numerous times daily. She advises, “Always be honest. Your reputation stays with you until the day you die and beyond. Treat people how you expect them to treat you. Always offer to help people by giving them your time and energy.”
Shirley conveys her eternal gratitude and appreciation to all the friends and relations who supported both her and Richard throughout difficult times when work was unavailable. She leaves us with her parting advice: Enjoy every day of life to its fullest. When you get older, you may still possess desire, but with age lack the ability.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband of 60 yrs Richard F. Blauser; parents Harold Ayres and Violet (Preece, Ayres) Scherder; stepmother Naomi P. Ayres; and brothers T. William “Bill” Ayres and Elmer C. Scherder. She is survived by her younger sister and closest friend Agnes C. “Maggie” (Scherder) Toth; three beloved sons Richard J. (m. Diane), C. Steven, and William H. “Bill” (div. Julie) Blauser; and three treasured grandchildren Michael J. (p. Jared), Craig D. (p. Natalia), and Sarah L. Blauser.
A private service was held Saturday, January 29, 2022, and available online for a limited time. In lieu of sending flowers, the family requests placing birdhouses and feeders in scenic locations for her to watch from above. For other lasting considerations, service viewing, sharing personal testimonials, enjoying a lifetime of photos, and sharing your own photos of Shirley, visit her online memorial at shirley.blauser.org
She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
Arrangements are being handled by H. Jack Buzard Funeral Home in Eau Claire.
To view/send condolences visit: www.buzardfuneralhomes.com