GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 21, 2012

Shirley Anderson Dennen


Fort Walton Beach, Fla. — Shirley Anderson Dennen of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. passed away on November 21, 2012, a week after her 92nd birthday.

Shirley was born on November 15, 1920 to Gloucester halibut fisherman Augustus Anderson and Emma Skinner Anderson. She was the eighth of ten children and the last surviving of the Anderson siblings. She graduated from Gloucester High School in 1938. She met her first husband, Guy Coombs, in Gloucester and they married at the end of World War II. Guy chose the U.S. Air Force as his career and together they traveled the world, stationed in Alaska, Texas, Germany, Newfoundland, Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and Hawaii.

Shirley and Guy had two children, David and Barbara. They divorced in 1968 and Shirley stayed in Hawaii, working for Dole Pineapple Company as an executive secretary for many years. In 1975, she moved to Portland, Ore. to be near her daughter, Barbara and her new granddaughter, Erin. In Portland she worked as a secretary at the Jefferson Performing Arts High School and enjoyed her lovely home on the Willamette River. During summers she traveled to Rockport and Bonita Springs, Fla., and also to Las Vegas to visit her son, David and his family. Upon retirement, she moved to Rockport and Bonita Springs.

While in Rockport one summer, Shirley encountered an old boyfriend from her high school years, William Dennen. 55 years had passed but in no time a new romance blossomed and Shirley and Bill were married in 1994. Shirley and Bill spent summers in Rockport and winters in Bonita Springs, traveled up and down the East Coast, around the country and to Mexico, visiting family and friends and truly enjoyed their time together. When Bill passed away in 2006, Shirley stayed year-round in Bonita Springs and in 2010, moved to Fort Walton Beach to be near her son, David.

Shirley is survived by her daughter, Barbara Thompson of San Francisco; and her son, David Coombs (Margie) of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. She also has three grandchildren, Erin Thompson of San Francisco, Lauren Coombs (Tim Buyse) and Brian Coombs (Jennifer) of Las Vegas; six great-grandchildren, Audreanna Vergara, Spencer and Rachel Buyse, and Collin, Avery and Noah Coombs, all of Las Vegas.

She was predeceased by her husband William Dennen, her brothers Eugene, Harold, Ivan, Andy and Carroll “Buster” Anderson and sisters Una Tucker, Ingrid Souza, Hester Sheedy and Ruth Rapp.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial celebration of Shirley’s life will be held in June in Gloucester.