Shirley J. Krikorian died peacefully in her sleep Saturday, Feb. 13 in the care of Windemere Nursing Home. She was 91.

Born in Oak Bluffs on May 5, 1924, Shirley was the daughter of Charles Peters and Frances Broskey Peters. She spent the first part of her life on Martha’s Vineyard with her father and sister Harriet, and then at age 11 she went to live with her mother and attended schools in Scranton, Pa. At 17 she left Scranton to live with her beloved sister in Bristol, R.I. and graduated from Colt Memorial High School in 1942.

World War II had started and Shirley worked in two defense plants. Bristol Manufacturing Co., which made aviator boots, and Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Conn. All was fine until one day she saw a poster at the local post office encouraging women to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps. That did it and off she went to Fort Sam Houston, Tex. for basic training in 1944.

From there she was sent to New London, Conn. to work in recruiting and then she received orders to report to the inspector’s office headquarters, First Air Force, at Mitchel Field in New York. Shirley was a private secretary to the assistant inspector general. She was tasked with dictation, acted as a reporter for verbatim testimony in private investigations, did research and annotation of reports of investigations and assisted in the verification of money accounts.

Shirley loved flying to their destinations with the officers in charge. And then World War II ended, as well as her fascinating position, so she chose to be discharged in 1946.

She went back to Pennsylvania to spend some time with her mother, but she was restless and then another poster appeared advertising for civilian personnel in the Armed Service Forces. Shirley took the civil service exam, passed and was given an appointment as clerk stenographer in Tokyo, Japan. But that was not to be. Her mother and sister feared for her safety so soon after the war and she cancelled.

Finally, the Vineyard beckoned and Shirley came back. She met and married Henry O. Perry, and they had a son, David. To supplement their income, she took various jobs: waitressing at local restaurants, bookkeeping at Vineyard Dry Goods and dictaphone stenography at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Vineyard Haven until it was closed by the government. She waitressed at night for four summers at the Edgartown Café, the famous lobster restaurant. By then her marriage had begun to fail and ended in divorce.

She married Edward Krikorian Jr. in Miami, Fla. in 1959 and they lived in Hollywood, Fla. for two years. In 1961, they came back to the Vineyard for the last time.

In 1962 her husband had knee surgery and was incapacitated for awhile. To supplement their income, once again Shirley sought employment. She was hired by the M.V. Insurance Agency and worked there for 11 years. By then her husband had done well in real estate and encouraged her to retire. She did and finally enjoyed the pleasures of “being home.” She was a communicant of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church.

In 1981 they began traveling extensively for 10 years. The end of Shirley’s traveling came when they got their beautiful American Eskimo dog, Kodi. She wouldn’t leave him.

Shirley was predeceased by her parents, her son, her sister and her beloved husband. She is survived by a niece, Patricia Lawrence of Edgartown, two nephews, Carl Lawrence and his wife Molly of Oak Bluffs and William Lawrence of South Berwick, Me., and three step children, Edward Krikorian 3rd and his wife Billie of Florence, Ore., Lynne Watkins and her husband Walter, and Ann Shook and her husband David, all of California. She is also survived by four maternal cousins, six paternal second cousins, six step grandchildren, and three step great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held on Friday, Feb. 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Augustine’s Church on Franklin street in Vineyard Haven on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at the Oak Grove Cemetery on Pacific avenue in Oak Bluffs with full military honors offered by the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard.

Donations in Shirley’s memory may be made to American Legion Post 257, P.O. Box 257, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.