Longtime NCEA Colleague, Shirlee Crack, Dies at Age 92

Leesburg, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) prays for the repose of the soul of Shirlee Crack who served in the NCEA convention office for 37 years—20 full time and 17 part time—beginning in 1971 and ending in 2008.

Shirlee had been ill for several months, but died peacefully at her home in Arlington, VA on Wednesday, November 24, with her son Steve by her side.

Just a week earlier (November 16), Steve and Roxy, Shirlee’s dear granddaughter, and friends celebrated Shirlee’s 92nd birthday.

Shirlee and Nancy Brewer, the association’s longtime convention director, represented NCEA in arch/dioceses across the country, planning meetings that often numbered 12,000 - 14,000 in attendance, including an all-time high of 21,000 in Toronto.

Nancy remembers Shirlee as a wonderful friend as well as a colleague—and truly beautiful, inside and out. She recalled Shirlee’s great sense of humor and her wonderful laughter that brightened the office. Former NCEA Convention Director Sue Arvo mentioned that she found herself sharing a happy story about Shirlee last week—not knowing that she was ill at the time.

Steve noted how much his mom enjoyed NCEA and that she regarded her co-workers as family. In early years, Shirlee hosted many office Christmas parties in her home.

Shirlee was one of three members of the Hayre family to serve NCEA. Her mother Catherine (who worked part time in the communications office into her 90s) and sister-in-law Billie Hayre were on staff for many years, as well. Prior to joining the convention office, Shirlee worked at ACCU, then an NCEA Department.

Shirlee will be laid to rest with her husband Roxy (who passed away in 1996) at Oakwood Cemetery in Falls Church, VA. Per Shirlee’s request, there are no memorial services planned.

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In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.