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Woody Shirley Deinish

Obituary for Woody Shirley Deinish

April 24, 1930 - May 9, 2015
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania | Age 85

Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Friend


Woody Shirley Deinish, 85, of Kennett Square, PA, died peacefully on Saturday, May 9, 2015, with her loving family by her side.

Woody was a devoted wife, a loving mother, and a loyal and true friend. Her life was filled with laughter, joy, and charity. Woody was a firm believer in giving back to the community and her church, and was a fervent volunteer throughout her life, especially for Hospice, which became her passion after the death of her first husband, Army.

Woody was born in Glen Dale, WV, on April 24, 1930, and retained an abiding love for West Virginia and for her extended, close-knit Hinerman and Fauley families. In high school, she relocated to Newport News, VA, where she began what was to be a life-long pattern of building deep and loving friendships, something she did when she later moved to Washington, DC; New York City; Geneva, Switzerland; Plandome, NY; Bozman, MD; and, finally, Kennett Square, PA. At each place Woody moved she created a world filled with good works and volunteerism, she made new friends, and continued her pattern of opening her house to old friends and neighbors. Her door was always open, and she welcomed and fêted newcomers and old timers alike.

Woody married James Armistead ("Jim"/"Army") Shirley, Jr., the first great love of her life, on September 7, 1957, after a long (and somewhat sporadic) courtship, and spent 25 happy years with Army in Plandome, raising their three children: Jim, Margaret, and Nancy. She and Army were dedicated to the Village of Plandome, the Plandome Fire Department, and Christ Episcopal Church, and spent many long hot summer days gardening, making pickles and jam, and baking pies.

After Army died in 1982, Woody made the bold decision to sell her house—by herself, no realtor needed, thank you very much—and relocated to Bozman, MD, not knowing a single soul. She made a new life for herself at The Abbey, and again filled her life with friends—new and old—and became a driving force behind the Talbot Hospice Foundation. The Abbey became a destination—much the same as 25 The Ridge had been—because of Woody and her generous and loving hospitality. Woody embraced the traditions of the Eastern Shore and many fun afternoons were spent on the deck eating Maryland crabs and telling stories.

In 1986, Woody again was lucky in love, and met the second love of her life, Bob Deinish, on a blind date engineered by her daughter, Nancy, and Bob's son, Gary. It was love almost at first sight, and she and Bob married on May 7, 1988. They spent the next 10 years travelling, entertaining, spending time with friends and family, and as devoted grandparents to their nine grandchildren: Jim IV, Kyle, and Katherine Shirley; Andrew and Robert Imbalzano; William, Elizabeth, and Lauren Hein; and Scott Deinish. Bob was welcomed into the hearts of her friends and family, and Woody and Bob built a rewarding and happy life together, which continued after they moved to Kennett Square, PA, in 2004.

In Kennett Square, in what was to be last 11 years of her life, Woody continued to be involved, make friends, and give back to the community, this time in the extended community of Cartmel and Crosslands. She and Bob continued to travel, entertain, garden, and spent many holidays surrounded by their loving families, especially their adored grandchildren.

Those who knew Woody—even slightly—will remember her for her fierce spirit, her unwavering loyalty, her agile and sharp wit, her beautiful blue eyes, and for the joy and zest for life that she carried with her on each of her journeys.

In addition to her first husband Army, she was pre-deceased by her beloved sister Nancy Fauley Mitchell, brother-in-law Lloyd Mitchell, and nephews Bill and Peter Mitchell.

She is survived by her loving second husband of 25 years, Bob Deinish; her son, Jim Shirley, and two daughters, Margaret Shirley Hein (Rick) and Nancy Shirley Imbalzano (John); her step-sons Jim Deinish, Gary (Donna) Deinish, and Bruce (Michelle) Deinish; and her nine devoted grandchildren.

Her memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square, PA, on June 6, 2015, at 1:00 pm (401 North Union Street, Kennett Square, PA).

In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations in memory of Woody Shirley Deinish be made to Neighborhood Hospice, 400 East Marshall Street, Suite 204, West Chester, PA 19380

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Arrangements by the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home, Kennett Square, PA.

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Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home

250 W State St
Kennett Square, PA 19348
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