Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Inimitable* Shirley Percival

We don't like to think about our own mortality, let alone those of loved ones. However, my Aunt Shirley Percival nee Kardux, passed away in her sleep this morning at the age of 94. I had thought she would live forever because she was very active.

She lost her husband, my uncle John, in 1982, not quite 34 years ago. I mark the date with the birth of my younger daughter, when he fell ill. He died two months later.

She was not one to stay home and whine about his loss. She stayed active. She loved playing bridge, going to Hope College basketball games and traveling.  She dearly loved her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and still had enough love for her nieces and nephews.

This is one of my favorite photos of my Aunt Shirley. It shows her adventurous spirit, and it was taken when she was 90. She was a lot braver than I am. I will miss her dearly.

*The definition of inimitable is a person or thing that's too good to be copied. That definitely describes Shirley.

Copyright 2010-2016, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. I heard many stories about her from your dad and my grandmother. Wish I had meet her. I am sorry to hear of her passing and your loss.

  2. Anne, you described Mom to a tee. Thanks so much for your tribute! You and Bernard are very special to me!

  3. Anne, Shirley is my cousin. I will miss her too. I get a letter from her every year after she gets my annual chrismas letter. She and my mom were cousins (kardux side of family). I think she is the last of their generation. Great Grandma K lived to 89, my mom (evelyn) to 95, and great Aunt Norma to 89. so it runs in the genes. I was so looking forward to visiting Shirley this summer after I retired She was going to help me look thru photos and help me identify some of the ancestors. Joanne shaw

  4. I will miss my cousin, Shirley. I enjoyed her letters and marveled at her beautiful handwriting. I recently shared Grandma Kardux's plum pudding recipe with her I was looking forward to visiting Shirley this summer. (from Barbara Monroe Page)