Monday, May 8, 2017

Shirley A. (Colligan) Gostley

Wellsville, NY - Shirley A. (Colligan) Gostley, 81, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2017, at Fellowship Manor in Lehigh Valley, PA from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.  Although her mind faded in recent years, Shirley’s heart remained strong and in it she held a lifetime of beautiful memories.

Shirley was born December 17, 1935 in the “Irish Patch” on Farnum Street in Wellsville, and treasured her childhood as the fourth of five children born to Charles and Marie (Dahill) Colligan. She attended Immaculate Conception School, and was grateful for the Catholic foundation she received there. She moved on to Wellsville High School where she continued her education with the same enthusiasm and spirit that defined her.

A certain stock car driver from the other side of the tracks caught her attention, and she married John Gostley in 1956. Their friendship and marriage was enviable, and their love and amusement for each other and their six children was compelling.  Shirley worked at the New York Telephone Company, and later she and John managed the Sears Roebuck store in Wellsville. She then worked at Air Preheater, and her last career was as a proud school bus driver for Wellsville Schools.  She was passionate about getting to know the children and families, and felt blessed to be a part of so many lives.

Shirley had a beautiful and faith-filled life in Wellsville, loved her Irish roots and upbringing, was devoted to her husband and family, and always had a suitcase packed in case anyone was available for a quick trip to Florida or Ireland.  Her kind heart, quick wit, gregarious style, and affable personality will never be forgotten.

Shirley adored her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and created unique memories with each of them.  She and John never fully recovered from losing their oldest daughter Teri in 1995, but they relied on their love for each other and their family and friends to help them. Because of her disease, Shirley was shielded from the unexpected passing of their son Patrick in 2016, but is rejoicing that they all are now together.

Shirley is survived by her children: Pam Reed of Wellsville, Greg Gostley of Wellsville, Laurie Hackett of Bethlehem, PA, and Holly Massengale and her husband Bruce of Kansas City;  her grandchildren Beth and Tim (Grace) Haaf, Christina (Brad) Ostrander, Laura (Ryan) Aylor, Danny Reed, Kaitlin and Jon Kyle Gostley, Cara and Grady Hackett,  and John and Brian Massengale,  great-grandchildren, Quinn, Ava, Zia, Sloane, and Hannah; her brother, Don (Brenda) Colligan, Brother-in-law, Jim (Carole) Gostley, several nieces and nephews and their families, Tim, Suzy and Erin Colligan, Ken, Mike and Ron Kensek, Heather, Mark, Tracie, and Kelly Colligan, and Leslie Gostley; and family friends, Jake Haaf, Tama Gray Morgan and Doug Reed.

She was predeceased by her husband John, children Teresa and Patrick; siblings Ken Colligan, Norma (Chet) Kensek, and Jack Colligan, a niece, Denise Ricci and great nephew, Shane Colligan.

Friends are invited to call on Friday, May 12, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 11:00 am at Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville.  Burial will in Stannards Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to the Immaculate Conception School, 24 Maple Ave, Wellsville NY 14895, or any charity of the donor’s choice. Another way to honor Shirley is to wake up every day determined to make a happy difference in someone’s life, just as she did. 

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