Shirley E. Lord, 94, the widow of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Charles A. Lord and a dedicated civic volunteer, died Feb. 4 of congestive heart failure at Meadowood in Skippack.
Mrs. Lord died two weeks shy of her 95th birthday. Although she had resided for the last two years at Meadowood, an assisted-living facility, she also had lived in Philadelphia and Whitemarsh Township.
Born in Boston, she was the daughter of Warren and Margaret Clark Ellice. She graduated from Port Washington High School on Long Island, N.Y., and went on to enroll in Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where she met her future husband. She studied at Colby for two years.
After Lord returned from service in the Navy during World War II, the two married and moved to Lafayette Hill. They had five children.
Mrs. Lord was a dedicated mother but led a very active life after her children were grown. For 17 years in the 1970s and '80s, she worked as a teacher's aide for special-needs children in the Colonial School District.
During the 1960s and '70s , she was active in the Plymouth Whitemarsh chapter of the American Field Service, promoting international student-exchange programs. For a time, she served as the chair of the chapter.
She was especially committed to her role as a docent at the Philadelphia Zoo, a job that she performed for almost 20 years in the 1990s and 2000s. She led tours and wrote many articles for the Docent Data, a journal for zoo docents. Asked what motivated her to become a docent, her son, G. Craig Lord, a retired Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge said: "She loved animals and talking to people. The two just combined."
She also enjoyed taking winter trips with her husband and his golfing friends and their wives to Florida and the Caribbean.
Her son said Mrs. Lord dedicated herself to her own children, the schoolchildren she served as a volunteer, and her friends. "She threw herself into everything she did," he said. She also was perennially positive and without guile.
Besides her son, Mrs. Lord is survived by children Charles A. Jr., Kenneth S., Susan C., and Barbara J.; 11 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
Services are private.