Shirley (Draghi) Ristau, 93, a lifelong resident of Manchester, died peacefully at her home at Orford Village on August 13, 2022. She was born on July 13, 1929, the youngest of five children of Joseph and Esther (Preli) Draghi. She was predeceased by her parents and siblings Eva, Dora, Mary and Joseph.
She graduated from Manchester High School in 1947 and chaired many reunion celebrations and cherished close friendships with many classmates, especially with Lois Vinci.
Shirley was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, wife, and mother but most of all she will be remembered as “Nana” to her nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
She married the love of her life, Edward, on September 9, 1950, and they doted on one another for 54 years until his passing in 2004. She and her family celebrate Ed and Shirl’s love even after his passing and now trust they are once again united.
While primarily taking charge of the household wellbeing, Shirley also was employed in product promotional advertising for 25 years and as a teacher aide at Waddell School where her children attended.
Shirley was a devout Catholic, participating in many ministries and fellowships including the Mothers’ Circle, Ladies Guild, Craft Group, Prayer Shawl Group, Hat Huggers, among many others. She most enjoyed the women who shared her passion for living out her faith in service to others, and for the fun and support they shared along the way.
She was also a committed community volunteer, serving as a member of the Manchester Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and Penny Saver Thrift Store volunteer for 25 years. She was active in the Manchester Historical Society, Manchester Community College Older Adults Association, AARP, and the Manchester Senior Center, where she enjoyed yoga, line dancing, and aerobics classes. Ed and Shirley have been long-time contributors to the Manchester Scholarship Foundation, promoting educational opportunities for all.
Shirley loved people- her family, her friends, her neighbors, her community. She invested heavily in others and felt blessed to be in their company. Everyone felt welcome in her home and in her presence. For the past ten years, Shirley enjoyed living in the Orford Village community making many new friends.
Shirley is survived by her son Stephen (Susan) of Manchester, daughter Kathy (Rick) of Virginia Beach, VA, and son Raymond (Nanette) of Jensen Beach, FL, daughter-in-law Sharon Ristau of Vernon; grandchildren Benjamin (Cheyenne Beach) Ristau, Aristide (Stacie) Ristau, Heather Erickson, David (Khara) Erickson, Brian (Sarah) Erickson, Sarah (Marshall) Cox, Jenna (Russell) Miller, Joshua Delmonte, and Andrew Delmonte; great-grandchildren, Courtney Miller, Isabella Miller, Evan Miller, Lila Ristau, June Ristau, Laurence (Lars) Ristau, Helen Ristau, Hudson Cox, Molly Cox, and Wellington Erickson, along with assorted grand-dogs. She also leaves her sister-in-law Louise Dziedzinski, and many nieces and nephews whom she has loved dearly.
Funeral services will be held on September 3, 2022, with calling hour at Tierney Funeral Home, 219 W. Center St., Manchester, at 9:00am followed by Mass at St. James Catholic Church at 10:30am and burial at East Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in memory of Edward and Shirly Ristau to the Manchester Scholarship Foundation https://manchesterscholarship.org.