Obituary: Shirley L. Davies May 22, 1925 – July 22, 2016

SHIRLEY L. DAVIES May 22, 1925 July 22, 2016

Shirley L. Davies, age 91 of Los Alamos died July 22 at Sombrillo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after a prolonged battle with dementia.

She was born on May 22, 1925 to William and Lucille Fay Davies in DeWitt, New York. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Lucille Davies, Brother, Morris and Nephew, Kevin.

The family relocated to Concord, California where Shirley graduated from Mt. Diablo High School in 1943.

Never satisfied with the traditional, at age 15, Shirley constructed her Soap Box racer, but being a girl she was not allowed to race in the dangerous Treasure Island Soap Box Classic. However, she was given the right of way for a preliminary exhibition run in which she turned in the almost – championship time of 18.5 seconds for 1,750 feet.

Also, she made her solo air flight at 16, and continued to complete the requirements and received her pilot’s license at 18. She was the youngest girl to solo in Contra Costa County, California in 1941.

She received a BS from Whitworth College in 1948. Following graduation from Whitworth she moved to Duluth, Minnesota to be the Christian Education Director of the 1st Presbyterian Church. Her duties included managing the church’s athletic teams with considerable success.

The men’s church softball team won the YMCA Softball league playoff championship in 1953 and Shirley was the only woman in Duluth to manage a man’s softball team.

She came to Los Alamos to be CE Director at the United Church of Los Alamos in 1954 with Reverend Archer Anderson. She directed the youth groups, taught Sunday school and directed many years of resident summer camps at Beaver Creek Methodist Camp near South Fork, Colorado.

After leaving the position of CE Director in 1965 she continued to make her home in Los Alamos, working at DeCol’s, being a substitute with Los Alamos Schools, school bus driver and more. She was employed by LANL as a mechanical/electrical technician and continued her Education at UNM receiving an Associate of Science in Instrumentation Engineering (1977).

She volunteered at the Santa Clara Pueblo with the tutoring program through LANL.

After retiring from LANL in 1990 she continued to travel and volunteer. She was a docent for the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, participated in the Los Alamos Police Department Citizens’ Academy, an Ombudsman for Sombrillo and a Stephen Minister with the United Church of Los Alamos are a few. She continued her love of sports by participating in several bowling leagues and having season tickets to the New Mexico Lobo’s basketball games.

Shirley is survived by her brother Granger Fay Davies, nephew Kurt Davies (Mary), and their families of Sacramento, CA.

Shirley was an influence for many young people with her strong Christian faith. She will be missed by family and the many friends she has made during her active life. A Celebration of Life will be later this fall and inurnment will be at the United Church of Los Alamos’ Columbarium.

Special thanks to Pat Lovato caregiver and companion of 16 years who provided love and friendship until her death. The family and friends of Shirley expresses gratitude to the nurses, aides and all staff of Sombrillo for the care and compassion provided to her these past 10 years.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Los Alamos Visiting Nurses, the United Church of Los Alamos or the charity of your choice.

The care of Shirley L Davies has been entrusted to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espanola Valley. www.devargasfuneral.com.

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