Shirley Hauptman Gaunt of Winchester, Virginia, died on Thursday May 14, 2020. A Winchester native, Shirley was born at Winchester Memorial Hospital on November 29, 1935, the daughter of Thelma Lewis Hauptman and J. Lantz Hauptman.
Shirley excelled at Handley High School, graduating in 1954 as the school’s first recipient of the Winchester Star Leadership Award and as Salutatorian of her class. She was especially proud of her Star Leadership Award honor as it supported her in being the first in her family to attend college. She chose Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia and graduated in 1958 with a B.S. in English, a Teaching Certificate, and a minor in Business. Shirley carried the values of the Star Leadership Award into her college experience, where she engaged actively in many roles, including President of her Senior Class and participating member of Kappa Delta Sorority.
She started dating Dr. Hunter M. Gaunt, Jr., also a Winchester native, while at Longwood College. They were married in 1959 and after Dr. Gaunt finished his surgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, they returned to their hometown of Winchester in 1962.
Mrs. Gaunt lived the values of leadership and community service throughout her life. She was a member of the Star Leadership Awards Committee in 1963 and was Chair of the Committee in 1973. She was a past member and President of the Hawthorne Garden Club, served on the Board of Belle Grove, Inc., and was also a past President of the Winchester Medical Center Auxiliary and a volunteer at the hospital gift shop.
Mrs. Gaunt especially enjoyed her work with the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV). She was a founding member of the Board of the MSV and was on the Board when the museum opened. She also served as a docent for ten years at the Glen Burnie Historic House and supported MSV in many other ways, most recently on the Collections Committee. Dr. and Mrs. Gaunt were jointly awarded the Julian Wood Glass Jr. Distinguished Service Award from the MSV in 2007.
Mrs. Gaunt was a member of Christ Episcopal Church. She is survived by her daughter, Cary Hauptman Gaunt, of Keene, NH; a sister, Irene Hauptman Ramm of Winchester, VA and her family; and many cherished friends.
A private burial service will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to the Collections Fund of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley at 901 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA, 22601, or to your favorite charity.