Shirley T. Poyer
Shirley T. Poyer, 87, formerly of Ithaca and In-let, N.Y., passed away Friday evening, September 20, 2013 at the Heritage Vil-lage Nursing Home in Ger-ry, N.Y.
She was born July 9, 1926 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of the late Frank and Helen (Johnson) Dunn.
In the 1940s, many of the farms in New York state were short-handed with the men serving in World War II. With a spirit of adventure and a desire to help, Shirley enrolled in a government-sponsored program. As a high school senior, she was soon on her way to Ithaca, N.Y., to help out on a poultry farm.
It was there that she met her soon-to-be husband, Dana Poyer, who had recently been discharged from the Army and was returning to the family farm. They were married on July 13, 1944 and together raised six children. Shirley and Dana continued to operate the family farm of 10,000 chickens until Dana’s retirement. They then moved to their much beloved Adirondack Mountains.
Shirley opened up the Coffee Cup Restaurant in the heart of Inlet, N.Y., and was known throughout the area for her homemade pies. Her love for baking hadn’t gone unnoticed, as many years earlier, she had been selected as a finalist in the famous Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest with her grandmother’s recipe for Molasses Zig-Zag Cake. The contest, held in New York City, was hosted on national television by celebrity Art Linkletter.
Shirley developed a passion for pistol target shooting and, with Dana, joined a local pistol team. She enjoyed traveling with Dana to state and national competitions. Both Shirley and Dana held many state pistol target shooting records, with many of Dana’s records still standing unde-feated.
Shirley’s continual desire to help others has led her in many directions. While her children were growing up, she was a Camp Fire Girls leader and after moving to the mountains, she held the position of Town Justice.
After her husband’s death, Shirley moved from the mountains to be closer to her family.
She is survived by two sons, Joseph (Leslie) Poyer of Jacksonville, Fla., Russell (Grace) Poyer of Ithaca, N.Y., and two daughters, Helen (Niles) Dening of Silver Creek, N.Y., and Elizabeth (Claude) Caroli of Mill Valley, Calif. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Shirley was predeceased by her parents, her husband of 50 years, Dana F. Poyer, a daughter, Sharon Brock, a son, Dana F. Poyer Jr. and a brother, Francis Dunn.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Chautauqua County Hospice, 20 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, N.Y., 14750. Services are at the convenience of the family with no calling hours to be observed. Arrangements are in the care of the Hole-Parker Funeral Chapel, Silver Creek, N.Y.