Shirley A. Kennedy, 86, died May 18, 2010.

She was born in Mountain Lakes, N.J., April 26, 1924. Shirley’s childhood and education were in New York state, in the public schools of Briarcliff Manor, where she graduated from high school in 1941. She received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in 1945, and her master’s in social work from Adelphi University in 1974.

She began her working career as the first female professional program secretary with the YMCA of New York City, McBurney Branch. Shirley married the boys youth director, Tom Kennedy.

In 1949 they were assigned to Salonica, Greece, under the Fulbright Plan for a two-year term to do refugee relief and village rehabilitation work within the city of Salonica and outlying villages following the Greek Civil War. Church World Service extended this work for an additional two years, expanding the work into northern areas of Macedonia at a time when the Communist nation of Yugoslavia was returning hostages from Serbia and Macedonia.

In 1954 they returned to the United States with a baby daughter, Ellen. Tom decided on a career change — he studied for the ministry at Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary. His pastoral assignments took them to Brooklyn and finally to Hempstead, Long Island, where they remained for more than 30 years. Since 1968 the family had frequently spent summers on Little Cranberry Island off Mt. Desert.

Pastor Kennedy served the Protestant church at Islesford. He is now buried on Little Cranberry. Following the Tom’s death, Shirley traveled to the Holy Land on a study tour of Middle Eastern problems and peace incentives. Shirley’s social work in Nassau County involved child and family services, social policy research, crisis intervention, mental health and the administration of a community program for the elderly.

Shirley was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Tom; and a brother, Robert Bowman.

Survivors include a daughter, Ellen Lavallee, and her husband, Gary, of Swanville; a sister, Barbara Whitman, and her husband, Robert, of Rochester, N.Y.; and five nieces and nephews, Diane, Karen, Walter, Tyler and Susan.

Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 10, at Nativity Lutheran Church, Old County Road, Rockland.

Arrangements are under the care of Crabiel-Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. Online condolences may be offered to the family at