The Passing of Shirley Wolfe

Williams staff and faculty,

We just learned the sad news that retired custodian Shirley Wolfe passed away on December 1 at her home in North Adams. She was 95. In light of the pandemic, we may not receive such notices as promptly as we would under normal circumstances, though I would like to take a moment to recognize a few of her accomplishments.

Shirley had a deep love for her family and her community, in which she was very involved. She volunteered at MASS MoCA and the North Adams Historical Society, and participated in a number of beautification projects. She also served on the board of directors at the Mary Spitzer Senior Center. At age 90, she was awarded a key to the city in honor of her exceptional public service. In addition to her volunteerism, she spent many years working at local public schools, as well as at Williams from 1978 until her retirement a decade later.

She was predeceased by her husband Joseph; sister Betty; brother Donald; and her daughter Susan. She is survived by her children, Donald, Eileen, James, Katherine and Richard; her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A private service was held in December. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial donations be made to HospiceCare in The Berkshires, Inc.

Our thoughts are with Shirley’s family, colleagues and friends.


Maud S. Mandel
Professor of History; Program in Jewish Studies