Shirley Mae O'Brien Sutherland, 96, wife of the late Arthur R. Sutherland, passed away peacefully with family by her side on April 16, 2019. She was born in Hamden January 20, 1923, a daughter of the late Emmett and Alice Charman O'Brien, and resided in Hamden for most of her life. She served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1946 and proudly marched in FDR's funeral. Shirley graduated from UCONN with a B.S. Degree in Foods & Nutrition and was awarded her M.A. Degree in Education from SCSU in 1972. She was a substitute teacher in Hamden Public Schools, a member of Grace & St. Peter's Episcopal Church, where she taught Sunday School, a Girl Scout Leader, and a volunteer at the Dunbar Church Apple Festival. Loving mother of Wendy Arcano of FL and Joy (Karl) Wildman of Hamden, sister of Emmett O'Brien, Jr. of Raleigh, NC, grandmother of Sean (Korinne), Brooke (Paul), Rick (Deanne), Kelsea, Alexa, and Reagan, great-grandmother of Jake, Matthew, Brock, Grace, and Cody, and aunt of many loving nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a daughter, Dawn S. Leary, sisters, Jessie McChesney and Virginia O'Brien, and a son-in-law, Richard Arcano. Friends are invited to visit with her family Saturday, April 27 at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden from 2 to 4 p.m. followed by a prayer service and presentation of Naval Military Honors at 4 p.m. Contributions in her memory may be sent to the Hamden Food Bank, c/o Dept. of Community Service, 11 Pine St., Hamden, CT 06514.

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  1. Joy, So sorry. I know how difficult this has been for you these past years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You were an amazing and supportive daughter.

  2. To Joy, Karl and the Family & Friends of Shirley –

    You have my sincere condolences on the passing of Shirley. I’m sure she will be missed in this life. May the memories of happy times shared ease your sorrow, bring you Peace and help you heal. May she remain in your hearts until you meet again. Love is forever!

    -Rejoice for she is surrounded by Love and Light in a place where sorrow cannot follow!-

    With deepest sympathy,
    Bob Mark

  3. Dear Wendy, Joy and Sean,

    Our sincerest condolences to you and your entire Family. Shirley was ever so pleasant all the years we have known her. I always remember her properly correcting anyone who wasn’t doing or saying something quite not right to her liking, and always with a smile. I hope you can find peace and comfort that she is with her beloved husband and daughter and finally at rest after a life well lived.

    Lynn and Mike Carney

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