Henry “Hank” R. Shireman

Henry (Hank) Russell Shireman, 74, (formerly of Fitchburg, MA) took his last breath on June 23, 2021, at Sawtelle Hospice House in Reading, MA. He is awaiting the return of Jesus Christ to be gathered together with all the faithful departed to begin a new life with the Lord.

He was the adopted son of David and Viola Shireman, and grew up in Indiana. He was a graduate of Fowler High School in West Lafayette, Indiana. After graduation, he served 11 years in the military: first as a Trombonist in the US Army band stationed in Alaska, then in the US Army National Guard in Indiana, and finally as a fire technician in the US Navy in Charleston, SC. He was honorably discharged in 1976.

Henry became a born-again Christian in 1980, eventually participating in a one-year volunteer missionary program sending him in 1982 to Dallas, TX. During that year he met his future wife Eileen whom he married in 1986.

While living in Texas, he attended Mountain View Community College in Dallas, where he made Deans List, and was a Computer Lab Tutor. He received an Associates Degree in Computer Science.

After graduating, he became a Data Base Manager at University of Texas SW Medical Center in Dallas. When his department was downsized in 1995, he and his wife moved to Massachusetts to be closer to her family. Since then he worked as a Computer Network Engineer and LAN Manager before he retired.

He had a great interest in history and loved being in New England exploring its many sites. He was inspired to write a poem for the USS Constitution’s 200th Anniversary in 1996. He was invited to read it on the last turn-around cruise that year and also in 1997 when Old Ironsides sailed for the first time since 1881. “From Old Ironsides, With Love” won an Editor’s Choice Award by the National Library of Poetry in 1997.

Hank stayed active in biblical study and teaching fellowships throughout the rest of his life. He blessed others with his singing, music and many talents. Besides playing trombone, he also learned to play guitar and piano. His hobbies also included photography, string art, woodcarving, and digital archiving.

Henry is survived by his beloved wife, Eileen (Okerholm) Shireman, lately of Stoneham, MA, (formerly of Fitchburg) and his daughter from a previous marriage, Dawn Shireman of South Dakota.

Friends and relatives are invited to an Interment Service at Forestdale Cemetery in Malden on July 14 at 10am. In addition, they are invited to a Celebration of Life for Hank which will be planned for July 28 in central MA (place and time TBD).


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13 Condolences

  1. Michelle Mail on July 2, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Aunt Eileen,
    We send our condolences and are relieved that Uncle Hank is no longer in so much pain.
    We have some wonderful memories of times together to keep him in our hearts!
    Our thoughts are with you! Love you!

    Michelle, Rob, Victoria and Matt

  2. Andrea Okerholm Huttlin on July 2, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Auntie Eileen,

    Our prayers are with you and Uncle Hank. May God comfort you and bring you peace.

    Andrea, Ed, Emily, and Katie

  3. Amanda Elmgren on July 3, 2021 at 2:16 am

    Dear Eileen, It’s been a privilege for me to lift you and Hank in prayers with our dear mutual friend, Lynn Amalfitano, this past year. May you be filled with the peace that passes understanding and the rest we gain from trusting in our dear Lord Jesus. In reading about Hank’s life, it is a life well lived and one that has given our heavenly Father much enjoyment, I think. God bless you and keep you in His wonderful care. We will continue to pray for you and your family for quite a while to come. lovingly, Amanda Elmgren

  4. Cheryl Cutulle on July 3, 2021 at 3:09 am


    So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayer go out to you at this difficult time. Love,


  5. Gloria Olivier on July 6, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    We are so sad to lose Hank. He had a great and deep love fir God and His word — apparent to the end. He was a master at meticulous recording of so many hundreds of musical pieces from a ministry we both served in for years. My husband and I appreciated his loving cataloguing and archiving so many precious songs.
    We will miss him and his unique self.
    And we look to the hope of Christ return.

  6. Larry and Pam Barnickel on July 6, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Dearest Eileen~

    What a generous man Hank was! He gave us CD’s of so many teachings and beautiful songs of praise! His love for God and the church was an awesome witness for which he will be richly rewarded in heaven!

    Although we hadn’t seen him in several years we remember his smile so well! This will shine on for all eternity…..we can’t wait to rejoice with you Hank in heaven!

    Praying for you Okie!
    With much love.
    Pammie and Larry Barnickel

  7. Robert Olivier on July 6, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    I was watching of all things a movie with Paul Newman and got thinking again of the friend I have just lost, Hank Shireman. The piercing blue eyes, a somewhat fierce appearance, with integrity and a sense of justice, a love of truth, dry or ironic humor, a gruff exterior with warmth underneath.

    Hank was generous with his time and resources. Lying in his lounge chair in a Worcester hospital he was telling me about tools he wanted me to have from his shop and how to use them. Earlier when we had a guest speaker teaching about Jesus and the true church, Hank figured out the recording and made dozens of labeled CDs to mail out. After fellowship one time he took my dining room chairs home, reglued and clamped and touched them up to last another decade.

    I have shared his Old Ironsides poem with friends and associates interested in naval and Boston history.

    I met Hank around 2008. He wasn’t 100% strong as he wanted to be. He never complained, just wanted to be his best for Eileen and friends and anyone who needed his help. My visits with him in recent months were very special. He shared many memories of his military service, musical training, family life, and he clearly planned for his time ahead to be filled with new projects and ways of serving. He just wanted to get home and get busy.

  8. Bennett Barbara and Jon on July 6, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Jon and I have so many fond memories of Hank’s love for God and His Word,His Son, our lord Jesus Christ, as well as the body of believers for whom he dedicated many hours of collating recordings of teachings and song. He also had such a tender side for children displayed by his recordings of read a-loud stories, his costume appearance as Santa Claus, and his detailed care of troubleshooting science projects. Hank’s example of declaring Gods love for mankind in his last months and his profound love for Eileen, we will always hold dear! The great reality of the hope of Christ’s return and our gathering together unto Him, he faithfully anticipated. Until then…
    With love from Jon and Barb Bennett

  9. Corrine Graves on July 6, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Dear cousin Eileen, I’m so sorry for your loss! I didn’t know Hank as much as I should have, but when I did he was a very nice man.Iwish I had known him better. My thoughts are with you n love you very much.

  10. Paula Kelleher Winder on July 6, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Eileen, to my favorite cousin, my adopted sister and my best friend, My heart goes out to you in this time of sorrow. I know that it was a great burden but Jesus help you through some of your tuff time. Hank now is pain free and we rejoice that the Lord has given him the bridge to cross over. My best memory of Hank was when he saw the light. He truly walked with Christ. I know this to be a fact because I became his friend and he was so thankful. His last jester to me in showing his gratitude and appreciation for helping Eileen through all she endured through these past six months was a new Pampered Chef air fryer. This was a gift that I will always remember him. Hank, may you Rest In Peace.

  11. Dawn Renee Shireman on July 16, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Dear Eileen,
    I’m glad dad is not in anymore pain and I can’t wait to see him in Heaven. I wish I could of seen him more often than I did. May you rest in peace dad.

  12. Larry Roudebush on July 17, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Thank you for your many years of service sir

  13. Miriam Ruiz on May 28, 2022 at 9:04 am

    So sorry you lost your life long partner. He lived an exciting life, filled with many adventures a “Believer” for many years, a service man in the “Navy” a ” Computer IT Programmer” an “Artist” and a loving husband. I am so sad he past but he is now free of pain. I remember the times I went to Sterling Nursing Home to take him to take him for his treatments in Fitchburg, Park Hill. I also remember visiting him at the nursing home near your new apartment. He was a kind man and I know he loved you dearly. He no longer suffers but he will Rest In Peace until he meets with you again. Your friend, Miriam Ruiz

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