Shirley Daniels Alderman, advocate for volunteerism and gifted actress, took her final bow on Sunday, February 4, 2018. She was 91.
Shirley had served as an auxiliary volunteer at Erlanger Medical Center for six years before being hired to organize and direct the Volunteer Services Department. During her 19 years there, Shirley became involved in the American Society for Directors of Volunteer Services, a national professional society affiliated with the American Hospital Association. During the following years she was elected to the board of her professional society and subsequently elected national president.
Shirley was recruited to become the first corporate Director of Volunteer Development for Life Care Centers of America. For the next seven years Shirley traveled across the country, presenting workshops on methods and strategies to strengthen volunteer programs in Life Care’s many nursing homes and retirement centers.
She was a graduate of the Goodman Theater School of Drama in Chicago. As a student, she studied under the guidance of legendary actress Uta Hagen and eventually acted in summer and winter stock productions across the Midwest and Florida. While in Florida, she was introduced to a dashing, blue-eyed World War II fighter pilot named James Robert “Bob” Alderman. Shirley and Bob married in 1950 and moved to the Chicago area where she continued her acting career.
The Alderman family moved to Signal Mountain in 1960, and Shirley began working in local television doing commercials and co-hosting daytime TV programs at WRCB and WDEF. She also began what would become a lifelong love for the Little Theater, now the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. She knew the importance of the arts as a catalyst for cultural and social change in our community and served several terms on the Theatre’s Board of Directors. Shirley adored acting at the Theatre and appeared in dozens of productions. Her talent was recognized with six Best Actress Awards over the years. Her last appearance on the Theatre Centre stage was in “The Crucible” in 2010.
Although her professional life in volunteer development was gratifying and productive, and she cherished her life in the world of theater, she was most proud of her four children, Deborah O’Donnell (Tom), Dan Alderman (Betsy), Julie Cook (Jeff), and Amy Allen (David), and her amazing, beautiful, perfect and spoiled grandchildren, Michael and David O’Donnell, Katie, Abby and Mitch Cook, and Alexa and Tripp Allen. Five years ago, Shirley was blessed with a great-grandchild, a bundle of adorableness named Elsie O’Donnell.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Bob Alderman; loving parents, Paul J. and Marion Sabin Daniels; and her sister, Joyce Hendrix.
The family is profoundly grateful for the wonderful people at Alexian, especially the tireless compassion and gentle care given to Mom by the seventh-floor nursing staff at Alexian Health Care on Signal Mountain, and the caregivers at Hearth Hospice.
Shirley was a member of the Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church for many years, and her family is honored to have her service there at 11:00 o’clock on Friday, February 9. 2018 with Pastor, Margaret Ferguson officiating.
Interment will be private at Chattanooga Memorial Park.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Hamilton Funeral Home, 4506 Hixson Pike, and on Friday, February 9, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. til 11:00 a.m. at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, 612 James Blvd., Signal Mountain.
Our Mom always loved flowers, but she’d want any memoriam to her to be something that will help the community, so in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, the Humane Educational Society, McKamey Animal Center or Pet Placement Center.
Arrangements are by Hamilton Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 4506 Hixson Pike, Hixson 423-531-3975.