Kimberley lost a giant among volunteers this week, as Shirley Rossi passed away on Monday, March 2, 2020.
And we all lost a friend. Shirley was a warm, friendly woman who never stopped giving to her community.
Over the years in Kimberley, she was involved with Girl Guides, the PTA, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Women of the Moose, ran the Miner’s Den at the ski resort, Snow Fiesta Queen Committee, Dynamiter Booster Club, JulyFest, WinterFest, KIOTAC, the Business Improvement Association, she was director of Food Services for the 1980 Winter Games and the Festival of the Arts. Shirley began her work with Summer Theatre in 1999 and continued to the day it folded.
She treated the actors like her own children, feeding them treats and looking after them.
She was the Beta Sigma Phi woman of the year in 1989 and won a commemorative medal during the celebration of Canada’s 125 anniversary.
She was a regular sight at Marysville Daze, running the pancake breakfast.
It is estimated that over the years, Shirley baked 30,000 meat pies to raise funds for her various causes.
And let’s not forget the hundreds of homemade treats Shirley made each year, as she and husband Pat decorated their yard into Kimberley’s go to Halloween stop. Shirley made popcorn balls, cookies and candy apples for over 50 years. No child in Kimberley went out trick or treating without a stop at the Rossi residence.
In 2014, Shirley was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship from the Kimberley Rotary Club, recognizing how she put service above self.
At that ceremony, Kimberley City Councillor and Rotarian Sandra Roberts said that she met Shirley when she moved to Kimberley in 1973.
“I met this friendly woman and she had me over for coffee and she said, ‘If you’re going to sit in your house, you’re going to be lonely. If you want to meet people, get out and volunteer’,” Roberts said.
That’s advice Shirley herself followed her entire life. She was a gift to this community and will be sorely missed by many.