Shirley F. Bowden of Delmar passed away peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at her home.

She was born Aug. 3, 1935 in Seaford, a daughter of the late Francis and Hattie Mae (Smith) Moore.

In her youth, Shirley attended Delmar schools. While raising a family, she enrolled in nursing school in Georgetown and enjoyed a career of over 50 years as an LPN. While she got her start at Peninsula General Hospital, she soon moved on to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. To support her family, she also worked at the Methodist Manor House, working shifts at both simultaneously for 28 years. She continued her career in nursing at the Manor House after retiring from the hospital (38 years) until her retirement, with 40 years of service because she loved it there and enjoyed her relationships with both her coworkers and the residents. She once said that taking care of people is what her life was about. 

She was an active member of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church and the Delmar VFW Post 8276 Ladies Auxiliary. When not working she loved raising her family, bowling and later in life she was able to travel and really enjoyed bus trips and cruises. Making memories with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren provided so much satisfaction for Shirley. Family reunions, holidays and supporting grandchildren in their sporting events and school functions made her life complete.

She is survived by children Debra Hastings (Stephen) of NC, Donna Figgs of Delmar, Edward Ralph (Faye) of FL, Linda Budd, Susan Elliott (Robert), Kenneth Ralph (Karen), Karen Bradley (Danny), Kevin Ralph (Laura), Scott Ralph (Tiffany), all of Delmar; several step children; 18 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Barbara O’Neal (William) of Texas and Frances Smith of Ocean View; several nieces and nephews; and her beloved cat, “Meme.” She is also survived by her special caregiver and her “angel,” Ronda Moor.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband William Bowden, who passed in 1998; a brother, Richard Moore; a great-granddaughter, Lainey Mitchell; and sons-in-law, Greg Budd and Walter Scott.

A visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday, Dec. 9 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Short Funeral Home in Delmar, followed by a funeral service which begins at 11. The Reverend Phyllis Walton will officiate. Interment will follow at St. Stephen’s Cemetery in Delmar.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her memory to St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church, 101 E. State Street, Delmar, DE 19940 or Delmar High School Athletic Department, P.O. Box 200, Delmar, DE 19940 or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital by visiting .

Arrangements are in the care of Short Funeral Home in Delmar. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting