Shirley Jean (Cavaliere) Barone, of Villa Grove, Salida, and Meeker Colorado passed on November 16, 2017 at the age of 89 in the White Wing Mansion Hospice Care facility in Gilbert, AZ. Shirley Jean Barone was born on August 3, 1928 in Villa Groove, Colorado. She was the daughter of Frank Cavaliere and Mary (Turano) Cavaliere, both immigrants from Calabria, Italy. Shirley’s mother, Mary, was a post master for the United States post office in Villa Grove for many years. Shirley grew up in a house that provided a post office to the community at the front of the house and a loving home behind the post office. Shirley’s father, Frank, worked as a foreman for the Colorado Rio Grande Railroad, helping build the Durango Narrow Gage Railway and other Rio Grande railways. Shirley had four other siblings Rose Weir (who passed in 2014) and the following surviving siblings: Emma Erickson, Dr. Frank Cavalier and his wife Jamie Cavalier, and Jim Cavalier and his wife Karen Cavalier. Shirley attended elementary school in a one room school house in Villa Groove until she went to high school in Salida, Colorado where she lived with her grandmother, Flora Turano, also an immigrant from Italy who had raised nine children and followed her husband, Pasquale Turano, a section engineer for the railroad.
After graduating from High School Shirley attended Adam State College where she earned bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees in secondary education. On Aug. 22, 1948, Shirley married Sam Barone at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Salida. The couple moved to Meeker in January 1951, where they were hired mid-year to teach. Shirley taught for 35 years most of which was seventh and eighth grade math students under the leadership and principal-ship of her husband Sam. Mr. Barone worked for the Rio Blanco Unified School District for 30 years before retiring. In 1975 Mr. Barone was honored when the junior high was named Barone Junior High School now Barone Middle School. Sam and Shirley were leaders, mentors and friends to their students and teachers throughout their careers.
Mrs. Barone was also known for her home made Italian cooking. In her retirement, Shirley remained active, playing Golf with Sam and local friends, and going on a variety of outings with family and friends.
In 1989, the Barones bought a home in Chandler, Arizona, and spent winters there, volunteering in the classroom of their daughter, Michelle Barone Lopez. Sam and Shirley were married for 56 years when Sam passed on May 12, 2005. After Sam’s passing Shirley moved to Chandler and later moved in with Michelle and her children.
Shirley is survived by her above mentioned three siblings, her daughter Michelle Lopez of Gilbert, Arizona, her sister in-law and husband Lenna and Bob Finck, of Salida, Colorado, and four grandchildren: Christina Wolfe and partner Ken Kreslake, of Flagstaff, Arizona, a great granddaughter, Sierra Kreslake Wolfe also of Flagstaff, Christopher Wolfe, of Worcester, MA, Monica Lopez, and David Lopez, of Gilbert. Shirley is also survived by the following nieces and Nephews: Rosanne Raichl, Mary and Gregg Kirkland, Jim and Connie Weir, Debbie and John Fabrizio. Craig and April Cavalier, Jamie and Gloria Cavalier, Kristin Cavalier, Joe Cavalier, Jeanna Jasperson, Debbie Finck-Gallagher, and John Tancik.