Shorlene Oliver, our beloved mother (Mom), grandmother (Gram), great grandmother (Gigi), and sister (Sheen), died suddenly as a result of a fall on July 26, 2020. Shorlene was the only child of Roy and Thelma Herren. Her father tragically drowned when Shorlene was 3 years old, and her mother remarried 5 years later. Shorlene's 6 half-siblings ranged from 10 to 18 years younger than her. As a result, she helped raise and mentor her siblings, and this maternal aspect of her character was a foundational part of who she was her entire life. She graduated from Cortez High School in 1956 and attended nursing school that fall. In January of 1957, she got lost overnight in the Tucson mountains while on an excursion with 3 friends from nursing school. She walked throughout the night to stay warm in 19-degree temps until she was found the next morning. This incident resulted in her leaving nursing school and returning to Cortez, but she stayed connected to those 3 friends throughout her life.
Shorlene married Troy Oliver on Thanksgiving Day 1957 and they had 61 wonderful years together, living on Goodman Point since 1965. Together they had 3 children, Janet, Rick, and Rod. They were also surrogate parents to nieces and nephews on both sides of the family, and thought nothing of expanding the dinner table as needed. No one ever recalls Shorlene and Troy ever having a squabble, let alone an argument, and their devotion to each other was unsurpassed. Shorlene was a natural in the kitchen and loved nothing more than to cook for holiday celebrations and family get togethers. Shorlene worked at the Cortez City Market for a total of 30 years from 1957 to 1997 taking a decade off to raise her family. She retired following many years as the Head Customer Relations Manager, and earned the Employee of the Year award in 1992. Shorlene was well liked and respected by employees and customers alike for her kind and compassionate demeanor, and was known throughout the community. Shorlene had an incredibly strong work ethic and would typically leave for work late and use her "lead foot" to arrive on time, much to the dismay of the local deer population! That foot didn't lighten much throughout her later years.
Shorlene was always giving of herself and helpful to others, but due to her strong feelings of personal independence she often struggled to accept help and support. She would respectfully listen to ideas and suggestions, and then ultimately do things her own way! When their children married, Shorlene and Troy incorporated each in-law, Kelly, Becky, and Aaron into the family fold with unconditional love as if they were their own. The addition of grandchildren: Danna, Kenzie, Seager, and Parker were highlights to her and Troy's life. They frequently cared for and doted over the 4 kids throughout their formative years and felt fortunate they all lived nearby. Following retirement from City Market, Shorlene and Troy spent 20 winters in Arizona, initially in Yuma and then in Sun City West in NW Phoenix. In 2017 they returned full time to their Goodman Point home so they could be close to family year-round as they now had their first great grandchild, Aubree. As Troy's health declined for several years prior to his death, Shorlene made every adjustment necessary to support and care for him. During this time Shorlene started hosting a weekly lunch with her sister Marsha and neighbor Rin, knowing that expanding her social opportunities would be beneficial to all of them. Shorlene had a strong spiritual faith and remained fully independent and cognitively sharp until her death. Despite the heartbreak of losing her, the entire family takes solace in knowing Shorlene led a full and happy life and had a "good death" that was pain-free and quick. For those who were fortunate enough to have Shorlene enter their life, they were the better for it.
Shorlene is survived by her children: Janet (Aaron), Rick (Kelly), & Rod (Becky). Grandchildren: Danna (Matt), Kenzie, Seager, & Parker, and great granddaughter Aubree. Her surviving siblings are Marsha Cruzan, Frances Fulks, Joyce Halstead, Dan Duncan, Duane Duncan, & Kathy Fish.
A Celebration of Life will take place at a future date.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Lewis-Arriola Fire Department.
Published in The Journal on Aug. 3, 2020.