Shirley Ann (Neustadt) Leavitt, 79, returned to be with her Lord on October 24, 2023, at the Aroostook House of Comfort, Presque Isle. Shirley was born in Bangor, December 27, 1943, the daughter of the late Samuel and Geraldine (Willette) Neustadt and married Thomas Michael Leavitt, July 15, 1978 in Caribou, Maine.
Shirley’s childhood was full of hardships. Shirley’s mother succumbed to Tuberculosis when Shirley was eighteen months old and Shirley fell sick and spent the first five years of her life in the Bangor Sylum. Once recovered she was raised by her Grandmother till the age of fifteen and moved to Michigan to live with her father for a year and a half until he passed from a heart attack at the age of thirty five. Shirley then moved back to Maine and lived with her maternal Aunt, the late Mary Lou Murphy. After all these years of heartache and many painful memories Shirley began a life of her own and lived life to the fullest. She had children of her own and also became a second mother to her aunts’ children until she met her husband Tom and they bought a house next door.
Shirley worked as a waitress for most of her life and collected so many special times that she carried and spoke about till her last days because of the joy it brought her to relive the fun times. Shirley also enjoyed working harvest for Murray Blackstone all the way up to a couple of years ago.
Family unity was important to Shirley and her Grandchildren were her pride and joy. Shirley lived her life as an example to her friends, family, and to those she didn’t even know, with her love and support she so selflessly gave. With Shirley’s devotion and courage, she was able to break her family’s cycle of abuse and addiction.
She is survived by her husband, Thomas Leavitt, daughters, Darlene (Albert) Rodriguez, husband Raymond Rodriguez, Michael Lee, Robin (Neustadt) Berube, husband Michael Berube, Renee Leavitt, and stepdaughters Anne Marie Helton, husband Donald Helton, Susan Yvonne Denney, husband Roger Denney, her grandchildren, Taylor Berube (Zach), Logan Berube, Brad Berube (Sadie), Cote Brauneis (Shawn), Spencer Wright (Taylor), Emma Helton, Patrick Helton, Lily Shaw, Levi Shaw, Sara Shaw, Alexis Rivera, Anthony Rivera, Katlyn Dence, Kristen Boucher, Madison Lee and Maxwell Lee, great-grandchildren, Noelani Rivera, Armand Rivera, Jude Rivera, Asher Farnum, and Finley Wright.
She is also survived by many additional special family members including, Louise Cote, the mother of Shirley’s two stepdaughters who she became close friends with over the years, sisters-in-law, Barbara (Leavitt) Lunn, Cheryl Leavitt, and Dora Leavitt, extra special first cousins who were like her other children, Rick Smart, wife Dawn Smart, Lisa (Matthews) Essich, T.C. Matthews, wife Tania Matthews, and her best friend, Pam Tracy. She was predeceased by a grandson Avery Helton.
Friends are invited to visit with the family on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at the Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir Street, Caribou, from 11AM until time of services which will be held at 12PM. Following the service, a time of continued fellowship and refreshments will be held at the V.F.W. Post 9389, Van Buren Road, Caribou. Committal services will be held at the Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery, 37 Lombard Road, Caribou, on Monday, November 6, 2023 at 10AM.