In memory of

Shirley-Ann Elizabeth German Vulpe

May 8, 1939 -  August 2, 2022

Shirley-Ann Elizabeth German (née) Vulpe, age 83, born May 8, 1939, passed away in Gainesville, Florida, August 2, 2022. Shirley is survived by her sister Penny and half sister Lois German Scott, and pre-deceased by her parents, Shirley McLarty German Brunke, her father John Dillon German and step-father, Frederick Dold Brunke, her siblings, brother Gus, half-brother Terry German, step-sister, Karen Brunke, step-brother, John Brunke, and her husband, Mihai.

Shirley was born in Toronto, Ontario. Shirley obtained a diploma in Physical and Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto and later a doctorate in Education from William and Mary in Virginia. Shirley had a long career in Physical and Occupational Therapy, focusing on early child development, as well as research and teaching at several colleges including Hampton University and University of Southern California. Shirley authored the Vulpe Assessment Battery, an important contribution to child development assessment and treatment. She also co-authored a memoir of her late husband’s early life. Later in life she dedicated herself to advocacy for sufferers of immune deficiency conditions and to helping other’s navigate health care insurance in the US.

Shirley met her husband Mihai Vulpe in Detroit, Michigan where she was doing a Physical and Occupational Therapy internship. Shirley was a dedicated and loving mother to her 2 sons, Christopher (Carol) and Peer, and stepmother to Michel (Julia), Martin (Maha), Ursule (Jeff), Francoise, and Thomas (Kathrina). Grandmother to Ethan, Bryn, Caden, Nissa, Elise, Colin, Owen, Jacq, Susan, Leonore, Tatyana, Christian, Shara, and Tasia. Great-Grandmother to Ronald and Keaton. Shirley also shared her caring heart and wisdom with her nieces (Wendy, Kelly, Kim, Carly) and nephews (Robert, Greg and JJ).

Shirley was swim instructor as well as a competitive swimmer in her youth, a love for the water she passed on to her children and step-children. Shirley loved flowers, especially tulips, anything in blue or green, painting, organizing crafts for the grandkids, and bridge. Shirley brought joy, passion and intensity to everything she did. She would talk with anyone, always generous of spirit, and interested in everyone’s story. She made many life-long friends in the communities she has lived in: Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, Warwick RI, Buckroe Beach VA, Costa Mesa and Palm Springs CA, and Gainesville FL. She shared a passion for travel and adventure with her husband, bringing along an everchanging troupe of children, to far flung destinations throughout the world, continuing in her later years to crisscross North America in her campervan, with her husband, and intrepid wonder-dog, Arpad.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the Immune deficiency foundation,


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Penny Long (Sister)

Entered August 20, 2022 from Huntsville ON

A remarkable life, a sweet soul.. she will be missed & remembered with love 💗

Judi Wagman (long time friend)

Entered August 20, 2022 from Thornhill

Shirley will be missed by all who knew her. We went through Earl Haig High School and UofT P&OT together; we managed to stay in touch throughout our working and retirement years, no matter where in North America that Shirley was living.

Jordan G Sullivan (cousin)

Entered August 20, 2022 from Collingwood

Shirley was an remarkable Canadian. A loving wife and mother who contributed in her research and many writings to her chosen career, leaving behind significant acheivement. I hope her work will be more widely recognized

Judi Weisman Wagman (long time friend)

Entered September 3, 2022 from Thornhill, ON

Shirley, I miss you all ready. Hopefully we will meet again up in the hereafter.


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