Shirley Monaco

Shirley Monaco

The Monaco house was the center of Swedesboro teenage life for the better part of 25 years. Shirley was the mom of 8 kids but she was also the town’s mom. Her house was never quiet, packed to the roof with kids and friends; if not inside then outside shooting hoops. And friends beware: she’d give you a smack as fast as she would her own kids, but Shirley was much more likely to give you a hug and listen to your problems. Shirley told it like it was and usually would stick out her tongue and toss in a little salty language for effect. Having so many kids helped out that famous day when the stars lined up perfectly for her (though she apparently messed up a couple of their ages). And with her good fortune she thought only of her kids, with the possible exception being building her dream house, a beautiful log cabin home. Shirley loved the holidays: the Railroad Avenue home made the paper a couple of times for her Halloween decorations and the log cabin became Christmas Central, decorated from top to bottom. Most days found her behind her stove; cookies, pies and the best pumpkin bread. And she loved her CB radio; she monitored the police and fire channels and knew all the Swedesboro happenings. When she left the area from time to time it was usually for a road trip: Florida, Poconos, Virginia, Maryland. Earlier years found her working as a bus aid for Walt’s Bus Service.
She is survived by her children: Catherine Moran, Thomas Monaco, Shirley Ann Wissen, Salvatore Monaco Jr., Benjamin Monaco, John Monaco, Roseann Liles and Susan Rentas. And she found her real calling in life as a grandmother and great-grandmother, never happier than when she was on her yearly Disney trip with her 12 grandkids and 2 great grandkids. She is survived by her siblings, Beatrice Becker, Thomas Coulbourn Jr., and Diane Bosco.

Come celebrate 85 great years Saturday 10-noon at Daley Life Celebration Studio, Swedesboro where there will be a noon service. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery, Woolwich.


  1. Michele (Weber) Davis says:

    Will always remember good times living on Railroad Avenue and hanging out at the Monaco’s. Your mom was the best. Sending condolences to you all during this time.

  2. Dorothy Coulbourne says:

    R.I.P. Aunt Shirley

  3. Bonnie Kimber says:

    Shirley was such a great lady. She also was a card. So funny. Hard worker and we all loved her. Best baker in town. Rip Shirley we love you always.

    • Ann Blackman says:

      I met Shirley as she sat on her front stoop shortly after we moved to Railroad Avenue. She was always talking about her wonderful children, so proud of them. So proud to have called her a friend.

  4. Al agolio says:

    Miss ya lots kiddo love doue

  5. Parrish Clark says:

    Sending my condolences to the whole Monaco family. Ms. Monaco was the best! Never showed anything but love and could whip up a batch of sweets in a minute, especially that Banana or Pumpkin bread. She wouldn’t hesitate to speak or pop you up-side the head if you got outta line. She always treated me with respect when I would come visit and always made me feel welcomed and at home, no matter what time it was. She would always jokingly call me her “chocolate son” and I am still to this day, overwhelmed for her to call me that. Every time I would come home from the service, Railroad Ave was always my second stop. Ms. Monaco…thank you for being a part of my life and being the great mother, you’ve proven to be. Until next time, RIP.

  6. Mike Cpsta says:

    Rest in Peace Shirley. My SYmpathies are with the Monaco’s at this time. My mother, Eve always talked with Shirley on the phone.

  7. Sue (Simkiss) Logar says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your mom. She was such an awesome, sassy lady. I can still hear her as she yelled at each one of you if you got smart or teased her. Such a huge loss for Seedesboro Xoxo

  8. Gary Hart says:

    Big Momma, as one of the original Buschmen, it was an honor to have known you. Your generosity to open your home to all of us was second to none. You will always be in our hearts.

  9. Holly Nothdurft Sparks says:

    Thinking of all of you and remembering Big Shirley. She was so funny and kind. Lots of laughs shared on Railroad Ave.
    So very sorry for your loss

  10. Suzanne Coleman says:

    To Sue and family. So very sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. Keep her memory alive in your hearts.

  11. Jonathan Randall says:

    My heart goes out to the Monaco family. Mrs. Monaco had a heart of gold. I am thankful to have had such a great family as neighbors for 24 years. I wish I could have been there for the Life Celebration. A life truly to celebrate.

  12. Thomas W Maguire says:

    Rest in Peace Cousin. Say hello to my grandmother helen for me. Tell her i miss her and hug her tight for me.

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