Wisdom of the Ages: Shirley Lanaghan

Meet Shirley Lanaghan! Shirley moved into Villa St. Francis on June 18th, 2015 just days before our Villa St. Francis 25th Anniversary party. She jokes that we threw her a party for her move in.

What did you do for a living, Shirley?
“ I was primary a homemaker, raising my three kids. However, twice a year I went into the banks and the savings and loans businesses to figure out the interest on client accounts.” “When I was in high school I trained on a comptometer. I would go into the Savings and Loan organization in May and November to compute the interest and then would go to the bank in June and December. It was very interesting work.”

What is your favorite childhood memory?
“I have so many wonderful memories of childhood. One of my favorite memories is waking up on Christmas morning to open presents with my sisters and brothers. Back then we each didn’t receive a gift. Rather we received a game that all of us could play.”

What is your favorite memory of adulthood?
“My wedding day,” Shirley said. “There was a blizzard that day and I didn’t think that Randy would be able to make it.” Shirley’s biggest accomplishment has been when she and her husband Randy helped raise their three local grandchildren. Her daughter and her husband worked and so Shirley and her late husband Randy brought the three grandchildren to all of their activities and sporting events.

What do you like most about living at Villa St. Francis?
“If you can’t be at home, Villa St. Francis is the next best place to be. The chapel was the most important factor in deciding on a community to live in.” Shirley goes to Mass six days a week in our Villa St. Francis Chapel. Shirley enjoys bingo, word games and brain teasers, horse racing and the live musical entertainment. She was never much of a reader until she moved to Villa St. Francis. Her apartment is close to one of our nooks and she has read the Autobiography of Barbara Walters and books from Mary Higgins Clark.

What kind of music do you like?
Shirley likes music from the 40’s and 50’s. She and her husband Randy used to listen to Gospel on the television right before the Lawrence Welk Show. Her husband was musically inclined and was able to play music by ear. At one point he owned 9 harmonicas which the grandchildren now have.

How would you suggest a person live a happy life?
“Try to do as much as I can for other people,” Shirley said. I have had a very happy life. My husband was very good to me and I have three wonderful children.” When giving advice to my 21-year old granddaughter, I say “Try to pick friends that you will always be proud of. There is so much peer pressure these days for kids.” Find someone who respects you. She always remembers that her husband Randy had a wonderful sense of humor.