Shirley Winslow Semmer
December 21, 1955 – July 22, 2015
Shirley Semmer, beloved wife, mother, sister-in-law, aunt, friend, and tireless volunteer passed away peacefully last week due to cancer with her family by her side; husband Bill Semmer, daughter Katie Semmer, and son Billy Semmer.
"What we have done for our selves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains, and is, immortal” –Albert Pike
Remembered by her family and friends as a warm, generous and caring woman, Shirley’s heart and soul were dedicated first and foremost to her family. Her husband Bill was her partner in life for more than half hers and with whom she celebrated her 28th wedding anniversary in January of this year. She was not known to speak of her own many noteworthy accomplishments or her numerous selfless contributions to family and community causes, but mention "her babies” as she loving referred to her two children, Katie and Billy, whom she loved fiercely and unconditionally, and she would talk a blue streak with stories full of a mother’s pride.
"Part of the healing process is sharing with other people who care.” – Jerry Contrell
Shirley, along with her family, was an integral part of the Fort Myers Beach and San Carlos Island community for decades. The scope and range of her efforts touched so many lives through the many local organizations and events she supported. Her reach extended across countless Beach School events and fundraisers, the Beach Kids Foundation, the Ostego Bay Foundation, Ostego Bay Marine Science Center Summer Camp scholarships, Fort Myers Beach little league and soccer, Lions Club Shrimp Festival and Shrimp Queen pageants, the 4th of July Kids Fishing tournaments, numerous fundraisers held at Bonita Bills to help friends in need, and so much more. The Semmer family had also been the driving force for the iconic Fort Myers Beach 4th of July fireworks shows for over 23 years. While Shirley’s family was often in the limelight, it was Shirley who was working tirelessly behind the scenes to help make it all come together, insuring a successful show each year. And such was the case in all her family’s other endeavors to help our community to be a better place.
Shirley’s passion for her community also extended to her love for the Arts. She enjoyed attending shows, galleries, and performances, supporting local artists, and creating her own works of art.
The Semmer family hope all who knew and loved her, will join them in honoring and remembering her at a Celebration of Life gathering on Sunday, August 16th from 11:00am to 2:00pm at Bonita Bills Waterfront Café. The café will be closed for business in the morning and during the Celebration, which will be a smoke-free gathering.
To honor Shirley’s memory and to continue to celebrate her life of giving to others, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Shirley’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by calling 1-800-805-5856 or at their website www.stjude.org. Anyone who has stories or pictures of Shirley they would like to share with the Semmer family can send them to
Caption: Shirley Semmer with her husband Bill and their two children, Billy and Katie