Shirley Stage

Born: Congress, OH on 04 September 1917

Passed away: Durham, NC on 04 March 2016

Aged: 98 years

Service Details

Memorial Service - Saturday, August 6, 2016 - 1:00 PM
Robbinsvillle United Methodist Church
249 West Fort Hill Road
Robbinsville, NC 28771

The Story

Shirley Mason Stage, of Durham, NC died in the early morning on March 4, 2016 - at Brookdale Senior Living, Durham - of natural causes. She was 98-1/2.

Shirley was born in Congress, OH on September 4, 1917. She was the youngest child of Edward Glenn and Elizabeth Gallatin Mason.

Shirley grew up in Congress, W. Salem, Rittman, and Ashland, OH. She graduated from Ashland College in 1939 and received her Master of Arts at Ohio State University in 1941. There she met her husband, John T. Stage, and they were married in Ashland on July 12, 1942. While John served in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, Shirley taught in the Rittman school system. After the war, they briefly lived in Boston and Memphis before settling in Jacksonville, FL in 1947.

Shirley was a stay-at-home mom for her four children but found time to be involved with a number of organizations, including the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, PTA, Safety Patrol, and band boosters. A lover of music and having played both piano and clarinet from an early age, she avidly encouraged and supported her children to experience music for themselves.

With her background in the arts, Shirley would utilize her artistic talents in creative and numerous ways: From entertaining her children to working on the Girl Scout newsletter to designing the annual Stage family Christmas card. She was always open to trying new mediums of expression, which included pottery, water color, knitting, sewing, needle work, basketry, caning, and furniture refinishing. A good cook and having lived through the Depression, she even turned leftovers into a delicious art form.

Shirley and her husband, John, were members of Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville for many years. After retirement, they moved to their wooded mountain home in western NC and served in the communities there; Shirley – most notably, as alderman and even mayor of Santeetlah, NC for one term.

An avid lover of pets, Shirley took-in numerous stray dogs, cats, and injured animals for rehabilitation over a 60-year period. She also loved to travel and allowed her children to experience the awes and wonders across the continental US and Canada.

Shirley is survived by her four children; Polly Stage- (Tom) Harris of Durham, David (Sarah) Stage of Tallahassee, FL, Kirk (Kate) Stage of Gainesville, FL, and Thomas (Stephanie) Stage of Indiana, PA; her grandchildren, Ben (Richann) Stage of Birmingham, AL, Adam (Junko) Harris of New York, NY, and Grace Stage; great-grandchildren, Mason Stage, John Taylor Stage, and Rena Harris.

Shirley is preceded in death by her husband, John (1994); parents, Edward G. (1956) and Elizabeth G. (1959) Mason; sister, Dorothy (2006) Kirk, and brothers, Glenn (1981) and Carl (1923) Mason Kirk.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, August 6th @ 1:00 PM at Robbinsvillle United Methodist Church, 249 West Fort Hill Road, Robbinsville, NC. Memorial gifts may be sent to the following organizations: Graham County Animal Advocates, A Voice for Paws, Adopt a, and the Red Cross.
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No tribute to Mom would be complete without her beloved OSU Marching Band playing "Fight the Team Across the Field" (above) and "Buckeye Battle Cry" (below)

Tom Stage dedicated a song.


This song brings a smile to my face and fond memories of long trips in the car. Thanks, Mom!

Tom Stage shared a video.


Mom - We will think of you every time we hear this song. We miss you and love you very much. ~Tom & Stephanie

Tom Stage dedicated a song.