July 23, 1935- December 25, 2020
Shirley Rapose, 85, formerly of Woodstock, passed away on Friday, December 25, 2020 at Day Kimball Hospital from complications of COVID-19.
Born on July 23, 1935 in Putnam, she was the daughter of the late Raymond C. and Abbie L. (Easterbrook) Williams. She was a 1953 graduate of Woodstock Academy and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Eastern Connecticut State University in 1957.
Shirley was a schoolteacher for over 50 years and always sought to bring out the best in her students. She began her teaching career at Eastford Elementary, where she taught 5th and 6th grade. In 1961, she became a teacher at Pomfret Community, where she taught 7th and 8th grade English and Literature for 37 years. After spending a few years in retirement, Shirley returned to teaching as a tutor at Rectory school, retiring from teaching in 2012. In 1994, she was named in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.
In addition to teaching, Shirley was very active in local politics. In 1975, she became the first woman to be elected as First Selectman of Woodstock. She went on to serve several terms on the Board of Selectmen and was a member of the Board of Finance from 1995-2007. In 2008, she was recognized for her three decades of service to the Town of Woodstock.
Shirley leaves her children Tracey Brown of Woodstock and Steven Rapose of Woodstock, three grandchildren: Christopher Brown of Woodstock, Justin Rapose of Woodstock, and Joshua Brown of Hampden, Maine.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church St. Putnam, CT. 06260. Due to the pandemic, services are postponed until the fall of 2021. Donations in Shirley’s memory may be made to the following organizations which she supported: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 20 Batterson Park Rd. 3rd floor, Farmington, CT. 06032, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105.