Shirley R. Weber of Peconic Landing, Greenport, died Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, aged 94 years old.
She was born Shirley Roxana Nixon in 1919 in London, England, and was raised in Geneva, Switzerland, from infancy until age 15. After four years at Bedales, an English boarding school, she studied art in Munich, Germany, and at L’ecole Des Beaux-arts in Geneva.
In 1940, as Hitler’s army surged through Europe, Shirley was forced to evacuate with her mother and sisters, Ruth and Diana. They returned to England on one of the last boats crossing the channel from Bordeaux, France. Her father, James Nixon, a statistician for the International Labor Organization, became trapped in France when it fell and was sent to a Nazi internment camp, which he survived.
During the war, Shirley enlisted in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and was based in Cambridge, England, to work in a university library. There she met her future husband, Gregorio Weber, who had traveled from Argentina to study biochemistry at Cambridge University’s Kings College. They were married there in 1947 and had two daughters, Alicia and Rosalind, before moving to Sheffield, where their third daughter, Juliet, was born.
In 1962, the Weber family immigrated to the United States, where Gregorio had been hired as a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After her children left for college, Shirley went back to school herself at the University of Ilinois, earning a master’s degree in art history in 1980. A talented illustrator, Shirley made her own Christmas cards for many years, with each year featuring a different bird of her own design.
Divorced in 1985, Shirley remained in Urbana until 1999, when she moved to Greenport, where two of her daughters owned a home. In 2002, she moved to Peconic Landing, living happily in a small apartment on the independent side. Several years later she moved to the enriched housing section and, in 2009, moved permanently into the skilled nursing facility. Her last years there were eased by an excellent nursing staff and visits from her family.
Shirley is survived by her daughters, Alicia R. Weber of New York City, Rosalind Weber of New Haven, Conn., and Juliet D. Weber of Greenport; and by her sister Ruth Hillier of St. Albans, England. She has one grandchild, Augusto G. Weber.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Harry Project, c/o The Greenport Rotary Club, P.O. Box 204, Greenport, NY 11944.
This is a paid notice.