Shirley passed away February 6, 2021 to be with her Lord and Savior at Centennial Hills Hospital in Las Vegas Nevada due to COVID-19 complications. Shirley was born on December 30, 1939 To Gene and Evelyn Mathews at Merced General Hospital in Merced CA. She grew up in Riverbank CA. She spent childhood days helping her parents who owned The Cozy Corner Café in Riverbank. She told stories of helping wash dishes while standing on a crate to reach the sink. Even after many years she continued to keep her water heater on high to scald dishes and everyone’s hands. Growing up she loved to roller skate and spent many hours at the roller rink in Riverbank with her cousins. She passed on the love of skating to LeeAnn and Andrea and together they spent many Saturdays at Cal Skate in Yuba City.
Shirley graduated from Williams High School in 1958. She enlisted in the Navy with her best friend, Shirley Miller in the WAVE training program after graduation. On August 25, 1958 she started her active service. She did basic training in Bainbridge, Maryland. She went on to US Naval Hospital Corps in Great Lakes, Illinois. Shirley was then stationed at the Naval Hospital, USNB in Charleston South Carolina.
Shirley was married to Benny Guy Clark after meeting in the Navy. She was married June 17, 1960 at US Naval Hospital Chapel in Charleston South Carolina. She was honorably discharged in 1960 and gave birth to their only daughter LeeAnn on February 14, 1961. The family of three located back to Williams CA in 1962. Benny had orders to ship out to Viet Nam for a second tour in March of 1965 and was in a tragic automobile accident en route for duty.
After returning to Williams, she was a waitress at the Villa Steakhouse. She attended Career Beauty College to become a cosmetologist and worked at Crystal Lee Boyes’ shop in Williams. She worked many years as a crop duster flagger for AgriAir. She later decided to fulfill her dream of returning to nursing. Shirley attended Yuba College in the Vocational Nursing Program in 1983. She worked for the UCD Medical group until her retirement in 2001. She relocated to Las Vegas with her daughter to enjoy the role of great grandma in 2017.
Shirley is survived by her daughter LeeAnn Clark Salazar, Granddaughter Andrea and husband Pete McCurry and her great- grandson Greyson McCurry (Mister) from North Las Vegas NV.
Her sister Pam and husband Mike Griffith, Nieces Kelli and husband Andy Garcia, great nieces Ava and Kylee Garcia all of Colusa. Niece Holly and husband Daniel Hitzke, their children, twins Max and Cade, and her little heart warrior Brooklyn Hitzke, also Noah and Miller Hitzke from Huntington Beach and Alina Garcia. She was affectionately called Auntie Deedle by all.
She will greatly be missed by so many, every time you hear Huey Lewis or a song by Elvis know that she is dancing in heaven to the tunes!!
Cremation will take place in Las Vegas and ashes will be scattered into the ocean and beaches she so loved. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. ■
When one path comes to a slow
Another one will come and go to allow us to grow.
Many chapters to life
That we each live through by our own strife.
Like the Celtic knights of old
Choosing their own path through the dark forest to find a cup of gold.
We must continue on to strive to find that boon
For it will each lead us home soon.
We may think that in peril and doom
It is all over at high noon.
For sometimes we lose faith, but remember that we are each travelers to this earth
Given to Mothers and Fathers through birth.
However, that is just the physical…the body may pay the toll
But faith is the spiritual deliverer to the soul.
May she rest in peace
For our love will never cease
In Heaven you are our Lord,
You have you hands full with our Shirley, Nani, Sissy, Auntie Deedle, Mims, Mimi, Miminator!
Just don’t act like a “maggot” she will keep you safe: She is at peace ready to be in Heaven
To live the slow pace. Love You!, Pete
02/18/2021 • WPR #2021-0200