Shirley (Pannier) Eberhard, a Class of 1953 Colonist, passed away peacefully at her home in Newport Beach on June 19. Born Shirley Louise Pannier, Feb. 7, 1936 in Anaheim, to Edna and Milton Pannier, Shirley spent her childhood helping her parents on their orange ranch and playing with her many cousins who lived nearby. When she was 6, she welcomed her brother Loren into the family. She also began playing the piano, something that would lead to a lifelong love of music.
After graduating from Anaheim High, Shirley moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College. She chose Oxy on the recommendation of her piano teacher and graduated in 1957 with a degree in education. The same year, she returned to Anaheim to marry Erland Eberhard, whom she had known since kindergarten.
Shirley taught 4th grade at Roosevelt Elementary in Anaheim during her first year of marriage. She gave birth to her daughter Laurie in 1958. Sons Craig, born in 1959; Jeff, born in 1961; and Brad, born in 1969 followed. While raising her children, Shirley taught piano lessons in her home. Starting at the age of 15, she played the organ and piano each Sunday for over 60 years until her retirement from Canyon Hills Presbyterian Church in 2011. She also played for hundreds of weddings and memorial services throughout Orange County. Her family kidded her that almost anywhere they would go, someone would know Shirley either from her days as a teacher or because she had played music for their wedding.
In the 1970s, Shirley returned to teaching elementary school. She continued to teach in the Anaheim City School District until her retirement in 1998. Despite being “retired” Shirley continued to play the organ on Sundays, supervise student teachers through Cal State Fullerton and play as an accompanist for voice students. Being retired also gave her more time to enjoy her garden, to travel, to attend music and stage performances and to spend time with her six grandchildren. She also donated her time and money to causes she believed in, including Habitat for Humanity and Free Wheelchair Mission. In 2009 Shirley was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This did slow her down somewhat but with surgery and other treatments she was able to lead a very full life for almost four more years; spending time with family and friends, enjoying music, movies and good food.
Shirley is survived by her four children, six grandchildren, one great-grandchild and brother, Loren.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 29th at Canyon Hills Presbyterian Church (190 S. Fairmont, Anaheim, CA).
Published in Orange County Register on June 23, 2013