BOWDOIN — Shirley A. Petersen, 71, of Meadow Road in Bowdoin Maine, died August 5, 2015 at her residence after a 10 month illness. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida, as the oldest of six children and first daughter of Charlotte Zimmerman and William C. Zimmerman.

She attended Nathan B. Forrest High School, graduating in 1961, and went on to Florida State University where she graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Music was an important part of her earlier life; she enjoyed singing in choir, playing the pipe organ, piano, and was a percussionist playing the bells in marching band. She often played the pipe organ and sang at the Lake Shore Methodist Church.

Shirley started her working career as a social worker in 1965. Later she met her future husband John “Pete” Petersen who was in the Navy, and they were married in 1968 in Jacksonville, Florida. As is common for military families, Pete and Shirley lived in many locations, including Maine, Tennessee, California, Florida, and Bermuda. While living in Bermuda, Shirley worked at the Bermuda Base day care nursery, and she and Pete enjoyed boating and fishing with their friends, even building their own pontoon boat.

In 1973, her daughter Liz was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Eventually, Shirley and Pete were given the opportunity to move to Maine or Hawaii. They chose Maine, and moved to Bowdoin in 1980 where they enjoyed rural living and raising their daughter.

In addition to her career as a mother and homemaker, Shirley volunteered for the American Red Cross, Navy Relief Thrift Shop, Bowdoin Parent Teacher Club, and at Bowdoin Central Elementary. This led to her position within S.A.D. 75 as an Educational

Technician for 19 years, providing support to students in the classroom. She also co-founded a craft business Country Collections, then eventually started her own business, Birch Pond Designs, making and selling beautiful hand painted crafts.

Shirley loved shopping for antiques, bowling, playing cards, watching FSU football, and playing Mah Jong with a group of friends. A fan of bagpipe music, she enjoyed attending the annual Highland Games in Topsham. After retirement, she dedicated her beautiful artistic skills to scrapbooking, making knitted hats for the hospital, crocheting, and knitting scarves.

In recent years, Shirley returned to her Florida roots in the winter, living in Cocoa where she appreciated the warm temperatures and absence of snow shoveling. Returning to her Bowdoin residence in spring, she loved Maine summers and watching the deer, fox and other wildlife that moved through her meadow.

Shirley is survived by her daughter Liz and husband Jay Boyd of Cocoa, Fla.; brothers William C. Zimmerman Jr., James Zimmerman and wife Joanne, Richard Zimmerman and wife Anita, Robert Zimmerman and wife Lilibeth, sister Kathleen Robertson, sister-in-law Susan Medhus and husband Clarence, and many much-loved nieces, nephews, and friends.

Shirley was fiercely independent, and waged her battles with cancer privately as much as possible. The family is very grateful for the support provided by CHANS home hospice during her final weeks. This support made it possible for her to remain in her home, which was her wish.

At Shirley’s request, there will be no services, but memorial donations may be made to CHANS Home Hospice, 60 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011.