Shirley Ann Little, 85, passed away at Uniontown Hospital on Thursday, December 24, 2020. She was born on Tuesday, July 9, 1935 in Grindstone to Leonard and Bessie Youger Jr., and was a graduate of Redstone Township High School, class of 1942.
Her love of nursing and caring for people was evident very early on. She attended California State College and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Nursing. She completed her final field work, then continued on with employment at Uniontown Hospital. Her pursuit of knowledge and achievement never slowed nor paused as she in turn worked toward her Master’s Degree, and finally her Doctorates at West Virginia University in her quest for success in the field. Her love of learning was indeed a lifelong pursuit.
Beyond work at Uniontown Hospital, her accomplishments in the field were numerous and far-reaching. In the late 1960s and early 1970s she was a nurse serving the student population of Uniontown School District, and brought her expertise and care to students as she traveled between schools. She generously passed on that knowledge all throughout her life, including as a professor in Public School Nursing, Public Health Nursing and more at California State College in the 1970s. Her skills were also sought after by many families, and she provided private duty care to numerous individuals throughout her community, often working around the clock.
Her professional career also included both floor duty and administrative responsibilities at both Lafayette Manor and Laurel Ridge Center in Uniontown. Her sense of duty was ever present, as she was always willing to provide medical coverage and care when fellow employees called in sick or wanted to spend time with their families at the holidays. She never said no. In each and every way she was known, even as she worked well into her 80s, by all in her field as a consummate Nursing Professional.
She met her husband Ed in 1969 through mutual friends. They married after a brief courtship and settled in their home on Route 40 in Uniontown. Utilizing Shirley’s nursing background and his business acumen, they created several successful businesses including personal care homes, and 2 franchises of Western Sizzlin’ Steakhouse. While Ed retired, Shirley continued on in her life’s passion in the nursing field. They also adopted 3 children to raise as their own, and they were always active in being role models and teaching them the ways of life.
She was an active member of Third Presbyterian Church. Her attendance at the first service every Sunday, seated in same pew, was a weekly ritual not to be missed. She served on the nominating committee for perspective Elders and Deacons, and helped to organize some of the church’s fundraising efforts through the Mission Committee.
She is survived by children: Edward Bruce Little (Adrienne) of Norway, Maine; David Allen Little of Uniontown; Michael Wayne Little (Amanda) of Uniontown; and Melinda Mae Little-Rudisell (Patrick) of North Bend, Ohio; nephews Williard Greg Youger (Carmen) of McAllen, TX, Jeff Allen Youger of Monongahela, and niece Pam (Youger) McKee (Marion Homer) of Bentleyville; grandchildren Samuel Freeman Little, Colin David Little, George Albert Beal, Nathan Lee Beal, Bethany Ann Little, Michael Wayne Little Jr., Richard Eugene Henry, Chad Ryan Henry, Eric Edward Henry; extended family Amber (Chris) Horn; and many great-grandchildren. Also left behind are her canine companions, Tucker and Skeeter, and felines General and Cali, whom she adored.
She was predeceased by: her husband Edward Freeman Little just six days prior; parents, Leonard Washington and Bessie (Mickey) Youger Jr.; father- and mother-in-law Hiram A. and Roxie Virginia (Pierce) Little; brother Williard Leonard and Jeanne (Riley) Youger; uncle Frank “Pouchy” Mickey; and aunt Maude (Mickey) and husband Ben. Other relatives have also left this earth before her, and all remain in our family’s hearts.
Shirley’s family would also like to express their sincere appreciation for the care she received to the medical professionals and staff at Uniontown Hospital, and for the visiting nurses and others that have always been there for her. Thank you.
A celebration to remember the lives of both Shirley and her husband Ed (who passed away on December 18), will be held at Andrew D. Ferguson Funeral Home, 80 Morgantown Street in Uniontown. Hours are Sunday, January 3, 2021, from 2-4pm and 6-8pm, and then again on Monday, January 4, from 10-11am. At 11am, a service will be conducted at the funeral home by Pastor Ron Johnson of the Third Presbyterian Church, followed immediately by interment at Lafayette Memorial Park in Brier Hill. All current gathering and social distancing guidelines will be observed.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Shirley’s memory be made to Third Presbyterian Church, 425 Union Street, Uniontown, PA 15401