Shirley J. (Anderson) McVey, 85, passed away peacefully on May 20, 2020, after an extended illness, surrounded by her loving family. She was born at Margaret Mace Hospital on November 24, 1934, the middle child of William Anderson and Florence Naigle Anderson, who, along with sister Billie Nash, brother Gerald Anderson predeceased her. She mourned the death of beloved daughter, Tricia, for the past 26 years. She was happily married to Capt. Tom McVey for 39 years until his untimely death in 2003.
Shirley was a life-long resident of Cape May County and a proud member of the Wildwood High School Class of 1952. Many things in life brought her joy, but first and foremost was her family. She is survived her children, Jeannie Peterson (Andrew) Hall of Big Horn, WY; Nancy (Craig) Campbell of Deland, FL; and Richard (ReEtta) Peterson of South Dennis, NJ with whom she lived for the last 6 years of her life; and step-children Michaela Philips of Villas, NJ; Patty Shelton of Titusville, FL; Dawn Townsend of Cocoa, FL; and Tom (Julianna) McVey of Portland, ME. Her 15 grandchildren and 14 great-children and numerous nieces and nephews and "found family" were a source of great pride, happiness, and fun.
Over the years, Shirley made friends easily. She had church families at St. Simeon's-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Tabernacle United Methodist Church and finally, after her move to South Dennis, South Seaville United Methodist Church. Her faith was strengthened in each of these communities of faith and her journals tell of many fun times and meaningful services held over the years. She felt especially loved by the Reverend and Mrs. Davies at Calvary. Her "life verse" was Isaiah 55:12.
Another great source of joy and friendship was the Jenny Ayres Senior Dance Troupe and the dance competitions and exhibitions that took them all over southern New Jersey, the east coast and dance cruises. She made lifelong friends in that group and sorely missed those days as she became too frail to participate (but always loved meeting up for lunches with the ladies!)
Shirley always wanted to give back and became a volunteer at Burdette Tomlin Hospital in the gift shop making milk shakes and for CONTACT, a mental health care phone hotline. Her travels included a trip to Australia for an international CONTACT convention, but her favorite country to visit was New Zealand.
She enjoyed working alongside her husband to build a successful fisheries business, including Clammers' Wharf at the end of Otten's Harbor. Together they became leaders in the Cape May County fisheries industry, gaining the respect of many at the state and regional boards that governed their work. Being on the water or at the beach was in her blood, so days in the sun and sand brought an abundance of fun. She will be sorely missed by many.
The family is grateful for the caring work of Dr. Edward Lee and his staff; the staff of Bayada Hospice; and the staff of Cape Regional Hospital for numerous stays over the years as she battled illness.
A private burial service will be held in the Veteran's section of Cold Spring Cemetery where she will be interred with her beloved husband. A celebration of life will be held in the future.
Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association or the St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, MT.
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