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Shirley (DeLyne) Forssell
5/27/1935 - 3/3/2023
“Well done my good and faithful servant” we know was declared with joy and jubilation as Shirley Forssell danced her way into heaven on March 3, 2023, being freed from the shackles of her earthly body and the trappings of dementia. She played witness to Christ throughout her life in word and actions - sharing the love of God with thousands along her journey.
Shirley was born in Syracuse, NY on May 27, 1935, and grew up in the quaint town of Baldwinsville, NY with the spectacular parents of Emily & Charles DeLyne and an older sister Mimi. Her academic prowess and endless curiosity landed her at Pembroke (Brown) for three years majoring in music before being reconnected with a Baldwinsville lad, Robert (Mark) Forssell, who provided transportation back to Rhode Island at the urging of his sage mother. They were wed in 1956 after Shirley’s junior year and she transferred to and graduated from George Washington University in DC. Their 67-year marriage, partnership, and love are something to which we should all aspire.
Life with Mark provided opportunities to live in a variety of places throughout the U.S. as Mark excelled in his career with the Nuclear Navy. Their three children, Steve, Linda, and Bobbie, were born in DC and were raised in McLean, Virginia where Shirley worked as a school teacher at The Langley School and office manager at a law firm as the kids grew up.
In 1986 after the kids flew the nest, Mark and Shirley did extensive research complete with a killer spreadsheet of qualitative and quantitative features to find the IDEAL retirement community for them at The Landings in Savannah, Georgia. And the calculations were in fact accurate. They moved to The Landings in 1988 and Shirley engaged just as fervently with the community in Savannah as she did in McLean.
Shirley shared that the best decisions she made were welcoming Christ into her life as a teenager, marrying Mark, being part of the founding group of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Skidaway Island, and her involvement with Cursillo. Her greatest sources of joy were her three children and fantastic grandchildren— all unique and awesome in their own ways, working with youth as well as the homeless over the years, singing in a multitude of choirs, and participating in and leading Bible Studies over 60 years.
Shirley is survived by her loving and doting husband of almost 67 years, Robert (Mark) Forssell, her three children, Stephen Forssell (Jeremy Garçon), Linda Wells (Doug), and Roberta (Bobbie) Textor (Jerry), her 4 grandchildren (Carl, Paul, Sierra, and Savannah), her sister Mimi Flack and nieces and nephews (Carol Forssell, Eric Forssell, Cathy Cross, TJ Flack, and Chris Flack).
She is preceded in death by her parents, Emily (Stevenson) and Charles DeLyne, and her niece and nephew Kerry Flack Abraham and Palmer Flack.
The Celebration of Life will be on Friday, March 31, 2023, at 11:00 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church on Skidaway Island in Savannah, GA. A "prelude concert" will start at 10:30 including piano duets with Bobbie Forssell Textor and organist Kathleen Turner.
"In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Peter's Episcopal Church of Savannah in honor of Shirley Forssell"
Shirley was a marvelous person. She'll be missed by all. So glad we were able to stop in to visit last year. We're sure the Lord has provided a beautiful mansion for her in heaven. Love and hugs and prayers of comfort to you all.
- Mary (Davini) and Bruce Webb, Granby, Massachusetts
Shirley had such a warm and loving soul. She was a beautiful person. We taught Sunday school together at St. Peter's. She always greeted everyone with a smile. May God be with all of you.
- Margaret and Reggie Davis, Savannah, GA
Sorry to hear about Shirley’s passing but celebrating her life as she is now dancing and praising the King of Kings and Lord of Lord, Jesus Christ her savior! My love and prayers to Mark, her husband and her 3 children Steve, Linda and Bobbie! So many fond memories growing up with you all St Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in McLean, VA! She was one of the prayer warriors at our church meeting for prayer group in the chapel! They are all been reunited in the very throne room of God! Hallelujah!
- Tony Reckmeyer, Ashburn, VA
Dear Bobbie and Family, Nita and I having met your mother on a few occasions realize your mother was very special and her passing means the world has lost a valuable example of spiritual being. We send you our sympathy, prayer and love. Greg and Nita
- Gregory Textor, Dayton, Ohio
What a wonderful Christian lady. We met Shirley through her husband, Mark, and came to appreciate her as a very giving and considerate person. Her activity with homeless families in transition was truly noteworthy and inspiring. She will be missed. Our sincere condolences.
- Ronald Morris & Peg Morris, Savannah, Georgia
Anna and I are so saddened by the passing of Shirley. We always loved her Christmas News Letters, which kept us up to date on the family. It seems like yesterday, when we visited them at their beautiful home at the Landings and later in their new place on our return trip from Florida. We also had a nice visit with her and Mimi in Syracuse. She was a lovely person and will be missed by everyone that knew her. Our thoughts and prayers to Mark and her family.
- Ed and Anna Stevenson, Pittsfield, MA
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- Celebration of Life
- 11:00 a.m. on Fri, March 31, 2023
- St. Peter's Episcopal Church
3 W. Ridge Road (map)
Savannah GA 31411