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Obituary: Shirley Cattabiani, 65, EMT and CPR instructor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shirley Ann (Bruno) Cattabiani, 65, died on Sunday, April 20, 2008, at her home in Albuquerque, N.M.

A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, April 26, at 10 a.m. at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, followed by a service at St. Mary’s Stony Hill Mausoleum. Visitation will be on Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Shirley lived in Watchung for 10 years, Warren for several years and San Diego for eight years before moving to Albuquerque, N.M., to spend time with her grandchildren.

While a resident of Watchung, Shirley was a member of the Watchung Rescue Squad, serving as an EMT. She served as sergeant, 2nd lieutenant, 1st lieutenant and captain. She received every award given by the Watchung Rescue Squad Outstanding New Member, Outstanding Member, Top Responder, CPR Saves, Captain’s Award and Distinguished Member Award. She served as CPR instructor providing CPR to the Watchung Police and Fire departments.

She was also a member of the Warren First Aid Squad and was actively involved in rescue activities there. Shirley was instrumental in forming the Joint Extrication Team, which involved the Rescue Squad and Fire Department members. She was also a CPR instructor in San Diego.

Shirley was responsible for pioneering the first Tree of Lights in Watchung in 1990, which has become an annual event. She served as chairperson for this event for five years. She served on the Recreation Commission and chaired the annual Memorial Day Picnic for several years.

Shirley made handcrafted dollhouses for the Autistic Children’s Hospital in San Diego. She loved gardening, watching humming birds, being outside and living life to the fullest.

She was predeceased by her husband, Eugene Cattabiani. Surviving are her son, Chester Allan of Albuquerque, N.M.; her daughter, Michelle “Shellie” Bruno of Bradenton, Fla.; two grandchildren, Brianne and Michael Allen; her sisters, Dorothy Pesto of San Diego, Calif., Barbara Bruno of Bisbee, Ariz., Marietta Wagner of Phoenix, Ariz., and Janice Lowenberg of St. Louis, Mo.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Watchung Rescue Squad, 10 Stirling Road, Watchung, N.J. 07069.