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Obituary: Shirley G. Brinley

Shirley Graham Brinley, 95, of Orange, passed away on March 14, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was a past PTA President at High Plains School in Orange. She coached numerous sports teams and actively supported the town Park and Recreation Department while her husband was Orange’s Park and Recreation Director.

Shirley was born in New Haven to parents G. Harris Graham and Olive Plante Graham on January 17, 1926. She was married to Robert D. Brinley on July 31, 1948 in New Haven. Shirley was a 1943 graduate of Hamden H.S. in Hamden, CT. She was employed by Schick/Warner Lambert Co. for many years as an administrative assistant. Shirley continued to be active in sports and could be found golfing at Orange Hills CC into her 80s. She loved to bowl and was an avid fan of the UCONN girls’ basketball team. She was also a longtime member of the Orange Congregational Church. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Brinley, father G. Harris Graham, mother Olive Plante Graham, stepmother Helen Thomson Graham, and brother Gordon Graham. Shirley is survived by sons Robert D. Brinley Jr. of Atlanta, GA, David G. Brinley, Hamden, Robert’s significant other Lena Baron, David’s wife Jennifer Brinley, sister Jean Tate and husband Jim Tate of Satellite Beach, FL, nephew Scott Tate of Houston, TX, niece Diana Tate Arrington of Fort Meyers, FL and niece Susan Graham Lunsford of Federal Way, WA.

A private service took place in Milford, with Rev. Joseph Miller, father of Jennifer Brinley, officiating. Burial was at Orange Center Cemetery. Arrangements are by HM Patterson in Atlanta and The Gregory F. Doyle Funeral Home in Milford. In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Animal Haven in North Haven, CT; the Connecticut Humane Society; or the American Heart Association. To share a memory, visit

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