Shirley J. Trites

02-Jun-1931 - 06-Apr-2021

Obituary Overview

Shirley J. Trites

Trites, Shirley Joan (Burton)

The family of Shirley Joan (Burton) Trites regrets to announce her passing on April 6, 2021. A long-time resident of the north end of Halifax and a charter member of Saint Stephen's Church (now St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church), she was a choir member for many years. Shirley was born to the late Johanna (Bell) Burton and Alexander Felix Burton. Shirley received her education at the Halifax School for the Blind, from where she graduated in 1949. Her career in beauty culture spanned twenty-eight years, operating beauty salons in both Chester and Halifax. Following retirement in 1977, Shirley began working at the Victoria General Hospital in the patient support service. Shirley's volunteer work began in 1950 and continued until just before her death. Interested in the rehabilitation of newly blinded persons and recreation and sports for the blind, Shirley held executive positions on the Canadian Council for the Blind and the Canadian Blind Sports Association, where she organized the first Fun Run For Light with Fitness Canada in 1982. Shirley served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (Annapolis Valley Region) during the 1990’s as fund raising chairperson. She was a charter member of Region Six of the Nova Scotia Government Retired Employees Association. Shirley received her certificate of proficiency in amateur radio in 1975, holding the call sign VE1AZY. In 2003, Shirley published a history of the education of the early blind dating back to the thirteenth century and the history of the Halifax School for the Blind titled "Reading Hands." Shirley became a world traveler during her retirement years, visiting and learning of the history of many destinations on both sides of the Atlantic. Her Hot Air Balloon exploits during a trip to southern states was a real highlight of her travels. Shirley kept busy during her retirement years, always trying new recipes, taking up bridge, buying art, knitting for charity and having lunch out with former school chums. Shirley is survived by her sister, Barbara, brothers Doug and Ray (Jeannine), many nieces and nephews, extended family and close friends. She was predeceased by her husband Rodney, her mother and dad, Alex and Joan Burton, sister, Ilene, brothers Tom and Alex (Brother Vincent Burton OSA), sisters in law Joan, Loretta and Carole, and nephew Gary. There will be no visitation. A funeral mass will be held at a later date to be announced. A kitchen party and a tree planting will be held this summer at "the cottage" for family and guests. Many thanks to her niece Denise and other caregivers for making life easier and overseeing her care during her last and most challenging years. Donations may be made to Red Cross, VON or charity of choice. Online condolences may be made by visiting the Halifax chapel at

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by Jan Boswell | 21-Apr-2021

We were saddened to hear of Shirley’s passing. Our sincere condolences are sent to Shirley’s family from Chebucto Links x

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Posted by Loretta Pilkington | 13-Apr-2021

Shirley was a wonderful lady who always had time to chat. She used to do my hair many years ago and was always very good, I enjoyed talking with her and will remember her with fond memories. She will be greatly missed and will remain in our hearts always.

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