Shirley Charles
Shirley Charles

Obituary of Shirley Charles



With heavy hearts, but also a celebration of the assurance of eternal hope in Christ, we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved mother Shirley who went to be with her Saviour Jesus Christ at the age of 81.

SHIRLEY CHARLES, 81, of Welland, Ontario, passed away on Wednesday, February 7TH ,2024, at the St Catharines General Hospital.

Shirley was born in Fifth Company Village Moruga Rd, Trinidad and Tobago to Mother Babuni Ali-Ramjattan Ragoonanan and Father Babua Ramjattan-Ragoonanan on JULY 30TH 1942.

Shirley lost her mother at a very young age leaving behind 4 children; her elder sister Eulyn, Shirley, and younger brother Surujbally. Shirley had a very special bond with her dad after the loss of her mother. Shortly after her father remarried Pearl (Polly) Rajkumar and had 9 children which was now 13 siblings.

She successfully completed Elementary Education in 1956 at Indian Walk EC School with certificate, being an exceptional brilliant student; Shirley was recommended by the school to further her studies by becoming a monitor in education. While under the supervision of the senior educators at EC Elementary School, in order to pursue teaching. Due to unforeseen circumstances and family oppression, Shirley was unable to get academic materials needed to successfully pursue teaching.

Shirley continued daily chores at home under step mother Pearl who introduced Shirley into the traditions of Christianity. The siblings would attend the St Mary’s Presbyterian Church on regular basis. This is where Shirley learned about the bible and grew a love for the Lord Jesus, loving the Psalms of 23,27 and 91 and many others.

Her hobbies include nurturing plants, mathematics, reading and she had a love for penmanship even in her aging years.

Shirley had hoped to pursue her education however was arranged to be married in July of 1957 at the age of 14 to Phillip Gerald Charles age 25; following the first birth of her baby boy Premchand in 1958 who died at the age of 3 months. During the early years of marriage Shirley pursued an interest in baking and sewing under the guidance of Miss Titin whom was known as a seamstress and baker in the village where Shirley resided. Shirley went on to giving birth to 12 other children which became her joy in life. Her choice words throughout years would be “your children are your riches in life.” She acquired skills in baking. Her family and neighbours enjoyed her cakes and pastries especially her coconut bread.

Over the years in Trinidad, Shirley was always misunderstood by family and experienced years of hardship.  Never giving up and finding comfort in her saviour, the Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer. She endured ordeals and was never known to complain to public. She would lean on the support of her first cousins and aunt known as Aunt Haphiza Ali (Rookun) whom was a significant part of her life.

In 1995, their son Barry sponsored his parents Shirley and Phillip along with their 4 youngest children, Michael, Ramesh, Leela and Carmen to immigrate to Canada.  Her life in Canada began with her new home in Toronto. It was the beginning of a new life with laughter and the comfort of having the provision of necessities of daily living. She loved to take long drives in the front seat and loved to listen to music. She enjoyed shopping and buying gifts for her children, writing cards for them even those abroad in hopes of meeting them someday to give them in person. She loved special occasions, receiving and opening gifts from her family. She loved to dress up in beautiful clothing, getting her hair styled as well as her nails done. Shirley spent her later years enjoying neighbourhood walks and sunshine in her front and backyard with family reunions. She continued to enjoy life in Welland, Niagara with daughter Leela, her husband Ted, and their 2 children Joshua and Jeremiah.

Through all Shirley’s health trials, the Lord’s hand was present and sustained her by meeting all her needs. Starting from 2012, overcoming many challenges with full recoveries and against all the odds of diagnosis and continued to enjoy life. Her life in the Niagara region the Lord truly blessed Shirley with an exceptional support team starting with Heritage Reformed Congregation.  Her second family that was there spiritually, emotionally, physically in everyway to support the family. A special thanks to everyone.

A special thanks to a selective group of individuals from the medical team; Sunnybrook cardiologist, nephrologist, medical doctors, palliative doctors, pharmacist, dialysis nurses and psws. A Special thanks to Dr Altin Reka and his team that always went above and beyond and was just a phone call away, Dr Khandelwal and his team of dialysis nurses known for their excellent care and after-hours support. Dr Dooler and Dr Khan and the palliative team with their compassionate support and quick responses. Community nurses who became family. Please accept our sincere gratitude to everyone mentioned and unmentioned that made it possible for Shirley to receive compassionate care, love, support and understanding.

Shirley spent quality time and was surrounded by most of her children whom was a significant part of her life in her last season which fulfilled her heart. Shirley loved the Lord Jesus immensely and remained faithful to him all the days of her life. Her favourite bible passage, and one she recited everyday was Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my salvation,” Psalm 23 “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” She was a gem of a mother, the most beautiful woman inside out, kind-hearted woman with a pure heart and she was a gift to those around her.

Shirley is survived by spouse Phillip Gerald Charles

Shirley is survived by her children; Kamala, Whimbar, Samdeo, Kenrick, Barry, Margaret, Primo, Michael, Ramesh, Leela, Carmen and 28 grand children, 18 great grand children and 1 great great grand child.

Shirley is survived by siblings; Franklin, Russell, Keno, Tara and Grace

Shirley is predeceased by her children; Premchand and Cynthia

Shirley is Predeceased by her siblings: Eulyn, Winston, Surujbally, Joseph, Angela, Judy and Margaret.

Private family visitation will proceed the funeral service.  Funeral Service will be held at Heritage Reformed Congregation (4171 Fifteenth Street, Jordan) on February 14th, 2024 at 11am with Pastor Bryan Najapfour officiating.  Reception to follow the service.  Burial will take place at 1:30pm at the Vineland Cemetery (4025 Martin Road, Vineland) with Pastor Mario Charpentier.  Funeral arrangements entrusted to Tallman Funeral Homes.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Jordan Christian School.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Shirley
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Tallman Funeral Homes - Vineland
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