Tuesday February 18, 2020
2:00 - 4:00 & 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Garafraxa Hill Funeral Home
251 Garafraxa Street
Chatsworth ON N0H 1G0
Sharon Virginia Stirling
June 3, 1965 - February 11, 2020
STIRLING- It is with great sadness that the family of Sharon Stirling (nee Sandrin) announce her tragic passing on Feb 11, 2020 at London Health Sciences Centre, at the age of 54. She is survived by her dear husband of 31 years, James Peter (Jim) Stirling and their daughters Nicole Eva Virginia Stirling (David Porteous) and Melissa Lynn Stirling, all of Chatsworth. Sharon is survived by her sisters Laurie Stiller (Gord) and Donna Sandrin-English (John English). Predeceased by her parents Walter and Millie Sandrin (nee Winfield).
Sharon and Jim met for the first time on a warm summer day at Sauble Beach, both arriving with a different set of friends. It would be memorable for both of them even though Jim would later find out that Sharon had lied about her age by several years; he was 20 and she was just 15. They kept in touch, long distance, for many years. Sharon left Chatsworth to travel to London , where she took a waitressing job , to experience everything her small village of Chatsworth couldn't provide. Jim returned home to Hamilton where he continued to reside for many more years. A breakup would give fate an opportunity to intervene yet again. Sharon would leave for Hamilton and remain there with Jim, in love, until the opportunity for a home, closer to her family would present itself back in Chatsworth. Several more years, never apart, building a life together would ultimately lead to their marriage in 1989. Jim worked shift work in Toronto while Sharon waitressed at the local Cheers pub! She was not to remain there for long; her career would be destined to driving the local school bus, devoted to children, for 25 years, never calling in sick. She took a very strong interest in all of her kids, making sure they had back packs instead of milk bags for their lunch. She found the work rewarding and never complained about rowdy kids or rowdy routes. If other bus drivers found the work challenging she was placed on those routes to quickly sort out the “troubled kids”. When she and Jim brought their own two beautiful girls Nicole and Melissa into the world, Sharon would bring them along for the early morning bus drives, teaching lessons in parenting. The rest of the day was spent doing house hold chores, lawn cutting, cooking, tart making before returning back to the school for the afternoon pickups; her girls in tow. When the grade 8 kids were looking for certification in babysitting, Sharon volunteered her two babies as live models for diaper changing and bottle feeding.
Sharon also was hailed as the champion of many grown up excursions; trips to the city for the local men's baseball teams and hockey teams and numerous trips to Wonderland. She was also recruited to run the local food booths at the Chatsworth Arena and Holland Centre baseball diamond. When she was not serving hamburgers, hot-dogs, pop and chips she could watch all of the kids , including her own two girls, play hockey and ball. Some tournaments would find her working from 7 in the morning until late in the evening; all for her kids! There was not much time for leisure; an occasional Coors Light while riding the lawn mower, a dip in the backyard family pool or BBQ with friends, or growing sunflowers to enter in the local fall fair.
Sharon's love of animals was always evident throughout her life and provided many teaching moments. The bus would often be stopped so that turtles could be safely removed from the road to the shoulder. Biting the bus broom would offer snappers safe passage across the road. The wheelchair lift on the bus also doubled as a lift to pick apples for her horses. Snake skins found on Sharon's property became “show and tell “ exhibits. Adopted dogs and throw away cats, Cleo, Barnie and Otis, became her mission. Her love for her four horses, and the vision of the life they were building together on their future farm with their Shepherd Zeus was her dream.
In the end Sharon would continue to be true to her nature and love for all. Her family would be made aware that she was a donor for the Gift of Life and in her final days she would continue to serve others. Jim describes Sharon as “the best wife ever and an awesome mom.” The whole community will greatly mourn her loss; so young and so inspiring.
Arrangements have been entrusted to GARAFRAXA HILL FUNERAL HOME, Chatsworth. The family will receive friends at the funeral home chapel on Tuesday February 18, from 2:00 – 4:00 and again from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. If desired, donations to the Furrever Grey-Bruce would be appreciated by the family. Condolences may be expressed online at www.garafraxahillfuneral.com