Shirley Mae Fine
January 23, 1927 ~ November 11, 2023
Kansas City, Missouri
Resided in: McLean, Virginia
Shirley Mae (Green) Fine passed away at her home in McLean, VA, on November 11, 2023, at the age of 96. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri – where she always said she was proud to be from and glad to have left. At 13, her parents (Mary & Cecil Green) moved her and her 4 siblings (brothers Bob, Dick and Jack Green and sister Carol Ann Albertini) to Washington, DC.
Cecil was deeply engaged with Democratic Party politics, a member of the Pendergast machine, and it was through those connections that she started working for then Vice President Truman at the age of 17—leaping from the relative obscurity of the Vice President’s Office to the White House, just 2 doors down from the Oval Office, at age 18. Her tenure spanned the whistle stop tour, the end of the wars in Europe and Japan, the atomic bomb, and labor upheavals.
After 5 years at the White House, she joined the Foreign Service, where she worked for 30 years—in Ottowa, Manila, Ankara, Paris (where she met her husband of 34 years, Sherwood M Fine), Washington, DC, Geneva, and Bangkok. After retiring from the State Department, she spent the next 28 years volunteering for a nonsectarian organization offering psychological-spiritual support to individuals and organizations.
If the word jovial was defined as a picture, you would see Shirley’s face: she laughed easily and often—and often for no obvious reason. While deeply curious, pragmatic and empathetic, she always wanted to have fun and poke fun. She was a bon vivant who celebrated every moment of life, no matter how mundane. She was filled with gratitude—for her family, friends, nature, big costume jewelry and a good red lipstick. She was strong and adorable, respected and adored.
A private celebration of life will be held at her home in the coming weeks. She is survived by her daughter, Lesley Fine; son-in-law Jack Frierson; son, Eric Fine; daughter-in-law, Irina Fine; grandsons Ian and Evan Fine; sister, Carol Ann Albertini, sister-in-laws Marija Fine and Nora Green, and many extended family. In lieu of flowers and in light of her love of nature, well-wishers are invited to donate to a conservation organization, such as The Nature Conservancy.