Shirley I. (Jacques) Ellbeg, 86, passed away on Wednesday, January 13th in the Jewish Healthcare Center. Shirley was born in Worcester on April 28, 1929, the daughter of Arthur and Irene (Marengo) Jacques, and spent many years growing up in Albany New York before returning to Worcester at age 16 where she met her future husband Richard Ellbeg who was just returning from Germany after serving as a medic in World War II. Being that he was 26, he waited for her to "grow up" and they were married 4 years later and spent the next 39 years together until his passing in 1988.
Shirley leaves 2 sons, Richard Ellbeg of Worcester, Randall Ellbeg and his wife Susan of Grafton; her daughter Janice Dionis and her husband Michael of Worcester. She also leaves 6 grandchildren who were the light of her life, Sean Ellbeg, Aimee Rynsburger and her husband Adam, Matthew Dionis and his wife Christina, Kaitlin Ruffo and her husband Joseph, Jacob Ellbeg, and Darci Ellbeg; three great grandchildren, Dylan Ellbeg, and Will and Miles Rynsburger; her brother, John Desmarais and his wife Jane and her sister in law Paolina Jacques along with several nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. Her brother James Jacques predeased her.
Shirley was employed as a switchboard operator at Fairlawn Hospital for many years before retiring at the age of 82. She was also a longtime volunteer at the hospital where she assisted wherever needed and helped in the Chapel.
Shirley was a gifted self-taught seamstress, designing and making her and her daughters clothing for many years. She worked for Marvin Levy Custom Draperies, where she visited homes with Marvin, discussed design ideas with customers and then created custom draperies. She designed her own embroidery, knitting and crocheting patterns, was a wonderful baker and cook especially of French and Middle Eastern cuisine and enjoyed painting, wallpapering and decorating her home along with gardening and reading her library of books with her cat and constant companion Angel by her side.
Shirley's family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff on the Alzheimer's floor at the Jewish Healthcare Center for their unwavering devotion, kindness and care.
In keeping with Shirley's wishes there are no calling hours and her burial will be private at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Jewish Healthcare Center, 629 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609 or The Alzheimer's Association, 480 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472.
O'CONNOR BROTHERS FUNERAL HOME, 592 Park Avenue, is assisting with arrangements.