November 22, 1930 – October 27, 2021 (age 90)
Shirley Mae Nielsen passed away on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at her home in South Ogden, Utah; and was joyously reunited with Claire, her husband of 71 years.
Shirley was born in McGill, Nevada on November 22, 1930 to Martin Edwin and Bertha Clara Mathews. She was the third of four children and grew to adulthood on a small farm in Millville, Utah. Shirley grew up in a home filled with love and the love for hard work. Her life was built on faith and a love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 1949, Shirley graduated from South Cache High School in Hyrum, Utah. She married her high school sweetheart and love of her life on June 5, 1950 in the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Shirley and Claire were partners in life in a way that makes it difficult to think of one without the other. They built a home and a business, raised a family and contributed to building their community and Church together. Together they were prodigious in their gardening of all kinds and in their home production and canning. If they didn’t grow enough to can they bought more, by the bushel! Visiting Grandpa and Grandma became known as “Shop at Shirley’s and Save” as one always left with a box or two of jams and vegetables; and their yard was always manicured and full of a variety of flora and a wide array of colors. Even though Shirley was a bit fastidious with her home and garden, they were made to live, work and play and provided a gathering point for her children and their friends. Many a flower, branch, vase or keep sake were broken by an errant ball, child or pet! With Claire, Shirley taught her children by word and deed to love the gospel of Jesus Christ and to strive for all that is good and right.
Shirley is an active and vibrant soul. She was a doer and shunned any idle moments. She loved sports as both participant and fan. Relationships with children, grandchildren and friends alike were made, enjoyed and continue still from the ski slopes, golf course, bowling lanes, Wildcat and Jazz Basketball, BYU Football and the Raptors.
Shirley never turned down a calling and served faithfully in many positions in her congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was keenly interested in politics and was an active member in the League of Women Voters of Utah where she served in many positions including an advisory committee to the Utah Legislature. Shirley worked for many years for the Ogden Teachers Credit Union, first as a teller then as a loan officer and was active in the Business and Professional Women’s Association. Her first priority and strongest support, active attention and unquestionable love were for Claire and her family.
Shirley is survived by her children, Jeffery Claire Nielsen (Kathleen Miller), Riverdale, Utah; Steven Mathew Nielsen (Claudia Tolman), Huntsville, Utah; Kathleen Nielsen Wahlquist (Craig Wahlquist), Papillion, Nebraska; Kenneth Ray Nielsen (Julie Russell), Farmington, Utah; and Dennis Martin Nielsen (MeLisa Pitcher), Marriott-Slaterville, Utah; 21 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Martin Mathews and Glen Mathews; and three grandchildren, Kristen Marie Nielsen, Kyle Andrew Nielsen, and Matthew Steven Nielsen.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 11 a.m. at the South Ogden 4th Ward Chapel, 4075 Orchard Ave. Friends may visit with family on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd. and Monday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Interment, Lindquist’s Washington Heights Memorial Park, 4500 Washington Blvd.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Primary Children’s Hospital at www.give-internationalfoundation.org/primary-childrens-hospital.