Shirley Ann Cesare

shirley cesare
Shirley Ann Cesare March 15, 1933 - April 8, 2019 Shirley A. Cesare, devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and women of great faith, passed away peacefully at home with family by her side. Shirley was born and raised in Delano, California with her parents Ben and Mary Harder, and her sisters Gladys and Eileen.. After graduating from Delano High School, Shirley enrolled at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a teaching credential. In 1953, she joined the teaching staff at Delano Elementary School where she taught Special Education students. From 1979 to 1989, Shirley was the Site Coordinator at Victoria Gardens Senior Center. It was while teaching in Delano that she met her husband Sam Cesare, also a teacher. They married in 1956, and moved to Fremont when Sam accepted a teaching job at Horner Middle School. Sam and Shirley enjoyed 61 years of marriage before Sam’s passing in 2017. While raising five children, Shirley was an active member of her church community serving as an Elder at Irvington Presbyterian Church, teaching Sunday School classes, and serving as a leader in Bible Study Fellowship. She led bible study groups throughout her adult life, and was active in promoting Christian causes including Right to Life and Food for the Homeless programs. Shirley had an infectious smile, and a wonderful sense of humor. Her greatest joy was engaging with her large family, and she hosted dozens of family events and celebrations at her house over the years. Shirley is survived by her daughters Mary, Elizabeth, and Judith, sons Mark and David, nineteen grandchildren and twenty-two great grandchildren. A celebration of life ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 18 at Bridges Community Church at 11:00 am, 505 Driscoll Road, Fremont.

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Memories Timeline


  1. When I married into the family in 2011. God blessed me with two new sets of grandparents. I hadn’t had a grandparent for over 10 years. She gave me a teacup which was one of her ways of welcoming me into the family. Grandma was the best- I cherished my time with her, her infectious laugh, watching Giants games with her, being a witness of Jesus to me and teaching me about marriage.I love you grandma and will miss you. You were such a gift to me.

  2. I am grateful to have met both Shirley and Sam. They were gentle and gracious people. I am sure she will be missed by her family.

  3. I’m very grateful to have a great grandmother. Shirley and Sam were very kind and were very happy grandparents. I love you dearly, I will miss you very much and I’m so sad that you and Sam never got the chance to meet there great grandson Jayden but he will know all the good story about shirley and Sam. Please keep watch over us and we love you grandma.

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