Shirley Buckwalter Langhauser, most recently of Falmouth, Maine and formerly of Farmington, Connecticut, passed away peacefully on July 1, 2011 with her family at her side.
Shirley was born on July 23, 1930 in Evanston, Illinois to Paul and Katherine Buckwalter. Shirley grew up in Orange, New Jersey and Holyoke, Massachusetts with her brother, Bill. As a child, she courageously fought polio, rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and enjoyed her dogs and summer trips to Lake Michigan. She attended and graduated with honors from the Kemper Hall School in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. It was during college that she met her husband of 58 years, Drew Langhauser. It didn’t hurt that Drew had been drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Shirley was well ahead of her time when, in 1963 as a mother of three young children, she began her distinguished career as a preparatory school teacher. She would go on to teach for more than three decades at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut. There she was a respected scholar in Chinese, Japanese and Russian history. In addition to publishing her work, Shirley chaired the School’s history department, mentored countless young teachers, served as the School’s Archivist, and received an endowed chair for her excellence in the classroom. But Shirley was just as content to be known around campus by students and faculty alike for riding her bicycle to work and for bringing her basset hound as co-chaperone to School dances.
When she was not knitting stunning Icelandic sweaters for family and friends alike, Shirley loved mastering the New York Times crossword puzzles each Sunday. She long treasured her loyal canine companions -- Toby, Jesse and Zoe -- and very much enjoyed the Farmington Field Club where she regularly swam up to one mile each summer day. Shirley also loved her family vacations in Nantucket, Cape Cod and Maine, so much so that she and Drew moved to Maine in 2000 for their retirement.
But most of all, Shirley loved her family, especially her grandchildren of whom she was so very proud: Ben and Carrie Langhauser of Norfolk, Mass. and Annie Langhauser of Cumberland, Maine. Shirley was pre-deceased by her beloved daughter Amy Katherine in 1998, and is survived by her husband Drew of Falmouth, Maine; son Andrew and his wife Andrea of Norfolk, Mass. son Derek and his wife Maureen of Cumberland, Maine; her three grandchildren; brother William of Tucson, Arizona; aunt Ann Evans of Lancaster, Penn.
Service and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to:
Hospice of Southern Maine
180 US Route One
Scarborough, ME 04074
Arrangements are under the direction of Advantage Funeral & Cremation Service of Portland, 981 Forest Ave. Portland, ME.