Sharleen SpeirOctober 26,2013
HARDWICK — Sharleen Speir, 71, a longtime Hardwick resident, died peacefully in the comfort of her home with her sister Sheryl at her bedside.
Shar was born May 23, 1942, in Barre, the daughter of the late Allan and Ruby (Griswold) Speir.
She attended Hardwick public schools and graduated from Hardwick Academy as valedictorian of the class of 1960.
After completing high school, she began her working career in New York. Shar missed being away from her family, especially their holiday gatherings, and returned to Vermont, where she was employed as a mortgage supervisor for the Howard Bank in Burlington. Ready to come back to her roots and be closer to her father, she returned to her family home.
Back in Hardwick, she embarked on the career she will be most remembered for, as a dispatcher for the Hardwick Rescue Squad, Hardwick Fire Department and several local businesses. Shar excelled in this position for more than 29 years, serving the community she loved. In addition to being dispatcher, she served as treasurer and bookkeeper for Hardwick Rescue, issued fire permits and provided child care for local children.
When her dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Shar became his primary caregiver, allowing him to remain in the home where he’d raised his family. Shar’s devotion to her father exemplified who she was and how much she cared for her family. It was this love of family and her dispatching career that made her home a place for holiday gatherings. For Shar, being surrounded by her father, her sisters, her nieces and nephews, and later their children, brought her the most joy, reinforcing the traditions she loved and creating treasured memories.
Shar was a member of the United Church of Hardwick. She loved to read and was happiest when surrounded by her books, her plants and her flowers. Her love of cooking was second only to reading. She always wanted to try new recipes, but came back to the favorites she grew up with and her family most enjoyed. Shar also enjoyed gardening, doing puzzles, crafts and playing games with her nieces and nephews.
She will be remembered as the cool, calm voice at the other end of the line, when phoning in an emergency, and most dearly as simply “Aunt Shar.” A very generous person who gave tirelessly 24 hours a day/seven days a week to help her community and anyone in need.
Survivors include her sister Sheryl Sancibrian and her husband, Bill, of Barre, and the nieces and nephews that held the most special place in her heart: Lori Somerville, her husband, Paul, of Colchester, and their children, Patrick, Emily and Erin; Kevin Johnson, of Danville, and his sons, Kyle and Connor; Darryl Johnson and his wife, Holly, of Greensboro, their daughter, Sierra, and son, Nick Allen, and his wife, Rae; Julie Sancibrian, of Barre; Deb Smith and her husband, Grant, of West Newbury, Mass., and their children, Julie Freitas and Cody Smith; and Marc Sancibrian and his wife, Nicole, of East Montpelier, and their children, Billy and Wyatt. Shar is also survived by two cousins, Terry Cox, of Hardwick, and Dick Hutchins, of Bradford.
In addition to her parents and grandparents, she was predeceased by her sister Sheila Johnson, of Greensboro.
A celebration of life will be held Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Hardwick, with the Rev. Deborah Adams officiating. Burial will be in the family lot in the Main Street Cemetery in Hardwick, at the convenience of her family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Hardwick Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 837, Hardwick, VT 05843.
Arrangements are under the direction of Dian R. Holcomb of Northern Vermont Funeral Service, 60 Elm St., Hardwick.
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