Shirley Albertha Floris née Price was born on November 4th, 1934 to Evalina L’Esperance and Benjamin Price in the county of Essequibo, Guyana, South America.
Shirley grew up in New Amsterdam, Berbice, where she attended Berbice High School. In 1965, she married Willet Floris. This marriage bore two children, Michelle and Nigel. Shirley’s dedication to her family was absolute. She made personal sacrifices without complaint in order to ensure that her children had every possible opportunity. She taught them the importance of discipline, persistence, and self-reliance while at the same time encouraging them to test boundaries. Shirley showed her children by example that no goal was unattainable. She supported them unconditionally and took pride in their achievements. In later years, she welcomed her grandchildren with great joy and loved them unequivocally.
Shirley had a lifelong career as an educator. She started teaching at an early age as a student teacher at Rose Hall Church of Scotland School in 1950. She attended the Government Training College later known as Teachers’ Training College and was a member of the graduating class of 1960. After teaching for several years, Shirley pursued further development of her professional skills, travelling to Australia to attend Wollongong Teachers’ College, and receiving her diploma in 1971. Upon returning to Guyana, she moved to Linden, first teaching at Mackenzie All-Age School and then serving as Principal of the Watooka Day School, a position she held until she left Guyana.
In 1979, Shirley immigrated to the U.S.A. in order to provide greater educational opportunities for her children. She continued her career at the International Preschools in Manhattan, NY, first as a teacher and later as Director of the 35th Street location. While performing a demanding job and raising her children, she attended Empire State College of the State University of New York, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education in 1993. Shirley was a superb teacher and talented administrator, respected for her skills at engaging young children and treasured as a wise and supportive mentor by colleagues. She nurtured several generations of young people and shaped the lives of many.
A warm and engaging woman, Shirley maintained wonderful relationships with her friends, many of whom have been part of her life since childhood. Her friends treasured her kindness, intelligence, sense of humor, and her trademark chuckle. She was a resilient woman, who met the challenges that life placed before her with great strength and determination. If Shirley could not get over the mountain, she found a way around it. She was loved and admired by her family and a host of relative and friends.
Shirley leaves to cherish her memory her daughter, Michelle Floris-Moore, son-in-law Carlton Moore, grandchildren Evan and Carolyn, and Carlton’s mother, Joyce Branch; her son Nigel Floris, daughter-in-law Michelle Hussett Floris, grandchildren Morgan and Miles, and Michelle’s mother, Claire Lopez; her sister Aileen Gregory, and nieces and nephew Sharon, Shavaughn, and Shaun; and many dear friends.
Shirley had a long and fulfilling life and gave us her very best during her time with us. May her soul rest in peace.