Published November 9, 2018
PEABODY — Shirley A. (Holmes) Anastas, 79, of Peabody and former longtime resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully at Brooksby Village on Wednesday, October 31, 2018.
Shirley was born on January 26, 1939 in Boston, one of five children of the late John L. Holmes and Ruth B. (Mackay) Holmes. She was raised and educated in Brighton and graduated from Westbrook Jr. College in Maine. Shirley was married to Andy Anastas on October 3, 1964 and they settled in Melrose. A kind and loving mother, she stayed home to raise her three daughters and son before returning to work.
As close family friends from Lynde Avenue in Melrose, Shirley enjoyed socializing and working with the McLaughlin family from McLaughlin Insurance Agency in Melrose where she worked for over 20 years. With her positive energy and quick wit, Shirley was well-liked and enjoyed her time with her coworkers at the agency. During her position at McLaughlin’s, she became a member of the Rotary Club of Melrose where she enjoyed many friendships and was a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award.
As a child, she developed a love of the ocean while spending summers in Saco, Maine. Later as a mother, she grew to love time away at Sebago Lake where the family had a summer cottage. Shirley enjoyed relaxing at the beach, reading a book, or listening to the sounds of the loons on the lake.
A Melrose resident for 50 years, Shirley loved her home, having coffee with friends from the neighborhood, and near daily walks through Breakheart Reservation with her best friend and sister, Barbara. A spiritual and faithful woman, Shirley was active at Incarnation Church where she served as a Lector, and at St. Mary’s Church where she taught CCD. In her free time, she enjoyed knitting, sewing, and seeing performances at the North Shore Music Theatre.
Above all, Shirley was a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother who provided loving support for her family, and was always very involved with her grandchildren’s lives. She will be deeply missed but always lovingly remembered for her easy uplifting smile, and love for a good laugh.
Shirley was the beloved wife of Vincent “Andy” Anastas with whom she shared 54 years of marriage. Devoted mother of Susan R. Lamparelli and her husband Michael of Stoughton, Jeffrey V. Anastas and his wife Valerie of Kennebunk, Maine, Pamela H. Anastas of Saugus, Laura J. Casey and her husband Mark of Andover, and Betsi Bell who was like a daughter to Shirley. Dear sister of William C. Holmes and his wife Geannette of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Pamela L. Fennessy and her husband Jim of Toronto, Barbara J. McDermott and her husband Raymond Watts of Melrose, and the late John L. Holmes. Cherished grandmother of Derek and Chiara Lamparelli, Rachel and Steven Anastas, and Alyssa and Christopher Casey.
Relatives and friends were invited to gather in honor of Shirley’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Sunday, Nov. 4 and again on Monday before leaving in procession to the St. Mary’s Church, Herbert St., Melrose for her funeral Mass. Interment at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody. Gifts in Shirley’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472. For directions or online tribute visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.