FRANKLIN: Shirley A. Barnum, age 85, passed away on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, surrounded by her loving family at her home in Franklin.
She was born in Franklin on February 4, 1935 to the late Richard and Frances (Wescott) Glidden.
Shirley graduated from Franklin High School and attended Johnson State College. She married the love of her life, Walter Barnum on April 14, 1954. They owned and operated Maple Lane Farm on Morses Line Road in Franklin where they raised their nine children. She was the matriarch of the Barnum family for many years. She made sure the children were cared for, the farm was operating and there was always food on the table.
Shirley dedicated her life to caring for others, including her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her community always came first and she spent countless hours volunteering at the East Franklin Union Church. Shirley and Walter retired from farming in the mid 1980’s. In retirement they enjoyed spending winters in Florida, traveling around the country and spending time with their family. Shirley worked at the Tyler Place Family Resort in Highgate Springs for many years and the Franklin Central School cooking with Carolyn. She always looked forward to hosting the Barnum family Yankee swap and the family summer picnics. Shirley was also an avid Boston Red Sox fan.
She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Walter Barnum of Franklin; their children, Brian Barnum (Becky) of Franklin, Bonnie Rainville (Donald) of Franklin, Beth Getty of Williston, Linda Hartman (Jay) of Franklin, David Barnum of Franklin, Carole Brown (Kevin) of Fairfax, Kay Bourgeois (Tim) of Winooski, Stacey Boudreau (Jamie) of Franklin and Marc Barnum (Mary Beth) of Franklin; 18 grandchildren Jessi, Jeremy, Jamie, Justin, BJ, Eric, Heather, Courtney, Jill, Kristopher, Karl, Kendra, Kari, Lydia, Lindsey, Jarrett, Hannah and Paul; 25 great grandchildren; her sister Dorothy Lothian of Franklin; sister-in-law Betty Lothian (Alton) of St. Albans; several nieces and nephews and special friends. In addition to her parents, Shirley was predeceased by her daughter-in-law Darlene Barnum; and her brothers-in-law, Stanley Lothian, Robert Barnum, Burl Barnum and his wife Gala.
Shirley’s family will be holding her life celebration in the Spring of 2021.
For those who wish, contributions in Shirley’s memory may be made to the East Franklin Union Church, P.O. Box 84, Franklin, VT 05457 or the Haston Library at P.O. Box 83, Franklin, VT 05457 for children’s books.
Goss Life Celebration Homes is the area’s exclusive provider of Life Celebration events. Please visit our website to share condolences, photos and favorite memories at www.gossfs.com.