Shirley Joanne Griesbaum, cherished family, friends

February 21, 2024

Shirley Joanne Griesbaum, 89, of Lewes, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.

The first of three children, Shirley was born in Piney Fork, Ohio, Feb. 24, 1934, to parents William (Bill) and Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Fisher. She attended Steubenville High School and continued to work upon graduation.

In 1951, Shirley met the love of her life, Donald Griesbaum, on a New Year’s Eve date; there followed an enduring relationship of over 70 years. Shirley and Don married in 1956, spending their first few years in Levittown, Pa., and eventually moving to Newtown, Pa., to raise their family.

Shirley continued working full time over many years in Pennsylvania for a doctor, an attorney, a steel company, and an economic journal. Her attention to detail, love of words, and ability to engage with others enabled a highly successful career as a secretary and administrator. Shirley revered the camaraderie she established with her co-workers. They shared life stories, substantive conversations, wonderful birthday celebrations, and countless theme parties.  As well, she continually supported her children in their childhood passions and love of sports. Shirley and Don traveled the country for many years, attending sporting events and visiting family.

Upon Don’s retirement in 1997, Shirley and Don settled into a new coastal home in Lewes. Together, they enjoyed many family visits and special celebrations while Shirley continued to work. In 2012, Shirley retired from the State of Delaware, which freed her completely for time with family, friends, and numerous other interests. She loved books, music, movies, sports, and selective television. Shirley loved the Phillies, win or lose! 

Shirley, a careful listener and engaging conversationalist, offered a warm, witty, wise, and genuine presence. She had a unique gift for making others feel heard, valued, and understood.  Not shy to state her well-informed opinions, she most certainly wanted to hear yours. In that light, Shirley cherished the many substantive relationships she nourished with family members and friends.  She honored her people with beautiful letters, carefully chosen cards and gifts, phone calls, text messages, warm welcomes, and fun times in her home. To her many friends and loved ones, Shirley leaves this treasured legacy.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; and her loving husband, Donald Joseph Griesbaum. She is survived by her children, Tara Norton, Todd Griesbaum (Tina) and Tracey Griesbaum (Jane Meyer); her grandchildren, Ashlea Anderson (David), Lynsey Kayal (Neil), Liam Norton and Addison Griesbaum (Cory Kennedy); her great-grandchildren, Aspen and Ace Anderson, Kai Meadows, and Zayn Kayal; and her sisters, Laurine Kornetti and her family, Darla Voss and her family, and A. Joseph Norton.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, 16961 Kings Hwy., Lewes. Friends may visit beginning at 10 a.m. Inurnment will follow at 1 p.m., at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 26669 Patriots Way, Millsboro.

Donations to honor Shirley’s life and legacy may be made to Lewes Fire Department,; Meals on Wheels Lewes-Rehoboth,; or Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra,

All unable to attend the services are invited to join the service via livestream by visiting the following link:

Visit Shirley’s  Life Memorial webpage at

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