Shirley J. Runions, a former longtime Grand Island resident, passed away Friday, Aug. 14, 2015.
Born Shirley Jane Doring on Aug. 28, 1928, to Florence E. (née Burdick) and Alva F. Doring in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Shirley was raised in the LaSalle section of Niagara Falls where she attended schools and graduated from LaSalle High School in 1946. On the same day of her graduation, she started her job in the purchasing department at Moore Business Forms on Buffalo Avenue, where she worked until 1952.
In 1948, she met Lawrence "Larry" Runions Jr. at a Moore picnic and they were married on Oct. 21, 1950, in Niagara Falls. They moved to Grand Island in 1951, purchasing property on Long Road, where they built their first home and raised their three children, Darlene, Gene and Debbie, all born while living there. Larry and Shirley built a home next door in 1956, which was the family home until 1985.
In 1961, Shirley and Larry went into business with some friends, starting the Relsco Printing Co. on Grand Island, which was originally located in the right side of what is now Kelly's Country Store. A few years later, they bought the business themselves and the print shop was relocated to the basement of their home. Shirley worked in the print shop with Larry while raising their children.
Active in her community, Shirley was a Bluebird, Brownie and Cub Scout leader for her children and a member of the PTA. The family belonged to the Trinity United Methodist Church, where Shirley was a Sunday school teacher for many years. Also active in the Zonta Club for many years, she especially liked helping with the antiques auction.
She was the caregiver to Larry when he was diagnosed with cancer before he passed away in 1982. After Larry's death, Shirley began working in the real estate office of Doring Real Estate on Grand Island, owned by her brother Floyd Doring. She started as the office manager, but obtained her Realtor's license and sold real estate for several years. In 1985, she moved to the Town of Tonawanda, a short distance from her son Gene and his family. Once again, Shirley became the full-time caregiver for her mother at home until shortly before her mother passed away in 1995. She went back to work, this time as a clerk in the pharmacy of a drug store close to her home. She continued working until she was 76 years old because she loved being around co-workers and customers.
She enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, babysitting often and enjoyed watching them grow up. She was a devoted grandma, attending all of their games, concerts and special events. Larry and Shirley were some of the original Sabres season ticket holders and she remained an avid fan ever since. Lately, she enjoyed talking hockey with her son and grandsons and received a signed team picture a few years ago from the Sabres' coach as a "devoted fan." If hockey was on TV, there could be no interruptions, unless you wanted to talk hockey.
She recently moved to Niagara Falls, living with her daughter, Darlene. She enjoyed reading, word puzzles and, most importantly, spending time with her family and friends.
Shirley was predeceased by her husband Lawrence E. "Larry" Runions Jr. and is survived by her children Darlene R. Sprague of Niagara Falls, Lawrence E. "Gene" (Deborah) Runions III of Grand Island, and Debra S. (Frederick) LosKamp of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. She is also survived by grandchildren Jason R. Sprague; Brian S. (Michelle), Todd J. (Melissa), and Chad M. (Emily) Runions; Lisa M. (Daniel) Thompson; Carin E. (Brian) Roberg; Christopher (Andrea) LosKamp; and great-granddaughters Eleanor "Ella," Anneliese "Annie" and Lillian "Lily" Roberg and Madelyn Runions. She was the sister of Floyd R. (Chie) Doring of Grand Island and the late Bruce (survived by Marguerite) Doring of Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Visitation and funeral services were held Wednesday and Thursday at the Kaiser Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the Grand Island Fire Co. or the Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island.