As the University of Maine community continues to reel from the tragic passing of Shirley Ladd, a senior business student, on Saturday after she fell from the Precipice Trail on Champlain Mountain in Acadia National Park, students who knew Ladd well and ones who didn’t have used various methods to share their grief for this tragedy.
Dylan Tibbetts, a UMaine graduate in Physical Education and Ladd’s boyfriend, started the Facebook page “Rest In Peace Shirley Ladd,” to provide a space for people to share their thoughts. Tibbett’s had been dating Ladd for eight months and commented on her infectious personality.
“She was always smiling. She didn’t have a shy bone in her body,” Tibbetts said over the phone. “She wanted to meet new people, she’d talk to strangers and make them smile immediately with whatever she said or did. She’d come into a room and start dancing around and snapping her fingers, just liven everyone up.”
Tibbetts was with Ladd the night before her accident, and her selflessness was apparent.
“She would do anything for anyone,” Tibbetts said. “She put people ahead of herself. When she was at my house Friday night before she went hiking, I had to go to work at one o’clock the next day, so she was just hanging around the house, watching the dog. When she gets bored, she cleans. So she cleaned my mom’s entire house.”
Over 550 people have “Liked” the Facebook page, and have used it to share memories of Ladd. People who knew and didn’t know Ladd have expressed their condolences. A fellow hiker that day posted on the page, “we were about 20 minutes ahead of her on the trail. So sorry for your loss… Shirley and her family, although we did not know her..are in our thoughts…”
Tibbetts posted on the page late Monday night that per request of the family, in lieu of flowers that donations go to one of the four groups that were involved in Ladd’s rescue: Acadia National Park Forest Service, Lifeflight, Bar Harbor Fire Department or Mt. Desert Island Search and Rescue.
Check back to mainecampus.com for memorial service times, or check the Facebook page “Rest In Peace Shirley Ladd.”
Any student who wants to talk with someone about the death can contact the UMaine Counseling Center at 207-581-1392, according to UMaine spokesperson Margaret Nagle. Faculty and staff with similar concerns can contact the Employee Assistance Program at 207-581-4014.