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Shirley A. D’Este

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Published in Cape Cod Times on August 23, 2023

Shirley A. D’Este, 77, of Mashpee, passed away peacefully at Atria Woodbriar in Falmouth on August 18, 2023. She was the beloved wife of the late Carlo D’Este with whom she shared 36 years of love, laughter, devotion and a passion for nature, art, music, movies, reading, history and sunsets.

Shirley graduated from Towson State College, Maryland, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music. She worked as a music teacher on Cape Cod starting in 1974 and continuing for 46 years. She was involved with the Highfield Theater, Falmouth Theater Guild, Falmouth High School plays and Repertory Singers, Mashpee Middle School music program and performed for children at the East Falmouth Library. Shirley created and directed DreamSpinners, a womens chorus, which focused on songs of compassion and healing. She had the gift of songwriting and poetry. She had enjoyed owning and riding horses since childhood and was a riding instructor for many years on the Cape, participating with her students in the Cranberry Circuit and South Shore Horse Shows. In recent years, she loved caring for her horse, Stetson, and enjoyed the company of her rescue cat, Danny Boy. She loved arts, crafts, crystals and beaded jewelry making. She was passionate about Native American history and felt a strong connection with all aspects of nature- earth elements, plant and animal kingdoms alike. She was deeply dedicated to her practice as a Reiki Master Teacher through which she brought healing support and guidance to so many through the years. She was an extraordinarily loving, caring and spiritual woman who, in countless ways, touched the lives of all who knew her, leaving a lasting impact on every heart and soul.

In her final days, Shirley was surrounded by the love and support of her family and friends who will forever cherish the time they spent together and the memories they created. Although Shirley’s passing leaves a void, her spirit lives on and in the lives of those she loved and touched. Her legacy of love, kindness and compassion will continue to inspire us and we will carry her memory with us always.

Shirley is survived by her loving daughter, Danielle Pierce, of East Falmouth and her husband, Mike Pierce, three stepchildren, Liane, Chris and Liz, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Shirley will be dearly missed by all her family and those who knew her.

A committal service will be held in the spring of 2024 at Great Neck Woods Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest with her husband, Carlo, and a celebration of Shirley and Carlo’s life will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Compassionate Care ALS. Donations can be made at or mailed CCALS P.O Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574. For online guestbook and condolences please visit