Shirley Glover Mason

March 10, 2020

Charlotte – Shirley Glover Mason passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the wonderfully caring community of Southminster in Charlotte, NC.  She was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 5, 1925 to the late John Newton Glover and Blossom Dirst Glover.  Her parents settled in the Midwood section of Brooklyn after early years in Alabama and Arkansas, where their roots were close to the land and hard work. John was a tiler who worked throughout the depression, often on the early motor lodges.  As a result, Shirley attended thirteen schools growing up.  This early grit stayed with her for the duration of her life, a trait that endeared her to many. 

After graduating from Erasmus Hall high school in 1942, Shirley’s path was unusual and distinguished for a young woman in 1940s America.  She attended college for four years at the Florida State College for Women, now Florida State, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1946, by which time the school had become coeducational, but--in a sign of those times--had yet to be integrated.  To spotlight Shirley’s achievement: less than 5% of American women earned a bachelor’s at that time. 

Always practical and future-looking, Shirley discerned that a specialty in the emerging field of human resources--known as personnel management back in the mid-century--would be a promising career.  And so, she matriculated in the graduate program for counseling at Cornell University in her home state of New York in 1947.  With the strength of that master’s degree, Shirley landed a job at Macy’s.  She did not personally hire Santa Claus, she recalled, but did get to sign his paperwork. 

At a dinner party hosted by friends, Shirley met the love of her life, Jack, whom she married after a brief courtship on August 25, 1951.  Thus, began a wonderful, supportive relationship, each the other’s biggest fan. Drives in the country, visiting far-off islands and towns, making an adventure wherever it might be--these were shared passions. 

Shirley’s work took her to Home Life Insurance Co. until the birth of her first daughter Kate, in 1955.  Son, Tom followed shortly thereafter in 1957 and Janet in 1966.  In 1970 she returned to the workforce, now in the publishing industry, working her way to an executive position at the venerable publisher J. B. Lippincott Company in Philadelphia. 

The publishing house kept Shirley surrounded by books, but she delighted in reading from a young age and inspired her friends to read and share in those experiences.  Naturally curious, Shirley’s reading habits no doubt broadened her world.  And it spilled over to her friends.  It’s remarkable how many have said what a reader, talker, and sharer she was.  Although mass media dominates our lives now, in Shirley’s youth, radio stations were only beginning to be licensed.  Books were always next to her no matter the changing culture.  She was sometimes cynical about these changes, often commenting with a witty remark.  Shirley adored the New Yorker and must be one of its longest-running subscribers.  Like some of that magazine’s cartoons, Shirley could be a caricature of the learned but skeptical citizen. 

Shirley and Jack always kept a welcoming and beautiful home--they designed a few themselves--starting in Brooklyn, then Baldwin, Long Island, Princeton, Media, Pennsylvania, and Tryon, North Carolina. For twenty-one years, since Jack’s passing, Shirley lived at the Southminster retirement community. 

Shirley is survived by her children, Kate, Tom and Janet; sister, Helen; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service for Shirley will be held at a later date. 

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at


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