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 up to adulthood on a small farm in Millville, Utah. Shirley grew up in a house filled with love and love for hard work. His life was built on faith and love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 1949, Shirley graduated from South Cache High School in Hyrum, Utah. She married her high school girlfriend and the 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 made it difficult to think without each other. They have built a home and a business, raised a family, and helped build their community and their 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 be able to, they bought more, by the bushel! Visiting Grandpa and Grandma became known as âShop Shirley’s and Save,â as we always left with a box or two of jam and veg; and their yard was always well maintained and full of a variety of flora and a wide range of colors. Even though Shirley was a bit meticulous with her house and garden, they were made for living, working and playing and provided a gathering point for her children and their friends. Many flowers, branches, vases or dungeons have been smashed by a stray bullet, a child or a pet! Along with Claire, Shirley taught her children, in word and deed, to love the gospel of Jesus Christ and to strive for all that is good and righteous.
Shirley is an active and dynamic soul. She was a doer and shunned any time of inactivity. She loved sports as a participant and a fan. Relationships with children, grandchildren and friends have been established, enjoyed and continue from the ski slopes, golf course, bowling alleys, Wildcat and Jazz Basketball, BYU Football and the Raptors.
Shirley has never refused a call and has served faithfully in many positions in her congregations in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had a keen interest in politics and was an active member of the League of Women Voters of Utah, where she held many positions including an advisory committee to the Utah Legislature. Shirley worked for the Ogden Teachers Credit Union for many years, first as a cashier and later 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 was 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 predeceased by her parents; brothers, Martin Mathews and Glen Mathews; and three grandchildren, Kristen Marie Nielsen, Kyle Andrew Nielsen and Matthew Steven Nielsen.
The funeral will be on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 11 a.m. at the South Ogden 4th Ward Chapel, 4075 Orchard Ave. Friends can visit family on Sundays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd. and Monday from 9:30 am to 10:30 am 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 in www.give-internationalfoundation.org/primary-childrens-hospital.
Condolences can be shared at: www.lindquistmortuary.com.
Published by Logan Herald Journal on November 6, 2021.