Shirley Peters, 81, passed away peacefully Sunday, August 9th, 2015.
Left to cherish her memory are two daughters, Tami Kenney of Virginia Beach, VA and Kari Scott and husband Chris of St. Charles, IL.; two granddaughters, Kristen Kenney, of Santa Monica, CA, Molly Scott, of Chicago, IL; two grandsons, Patrick Kenney, of Las Vegas, NV and Zachary Scott of Chicago, IL. Mrs. Peters is preceded in death by her son-in-law, Robert Kenney.
Shirley loved dance and began tap dancing at age 5. It was then her passion of theater, music and the arts began and continued throughout her life. One of her highlights was twirling double glass batons with the marching band with three of her closest friends. With a passion to dance, she continued to enjoy dance in many ways for most of her life. When she was young she aspired to be a Rockette! We will always remember her “twirling around” the dance floor with a huge smile.
Shirley Lou Spehn graduated from Missoula County High School class of 1952. She continued her love of dance and the arts while attending the University of Montana. There she was inspired by her studies in physical education and sociology. Shirley was proud to be in Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, Alpha Nu, chapter. She was also sweetheart of Sigma Chi one year.
Shirley spent most of her career volunteering or working in the fashion industry. Including high end fur salons and designer departments within major department stores and boutiques. It was not uncommon to find her organizing a fashion show and modeling in them too.
She was proud to raise her two daughters in Virginia and also volunteered in the community. However, Shirley lived in many places throughout the United States. One of her favorite places to vacation was “anywhere in the Caribbean”. She felt drawn to the magnificent colors of the ocean there and called the islands “A little bit of heaven”.
Shirley was credited with being one of the front runners of bringing local art into the public schools. While living in Springfield, Va. she created a three year program to display a variety of local artists’ works. Community Concerts was another project she initiated while living in Fairfax, VA.
Shirley enjoyed and loved many things, including these; Being a Gran, seeing the leaves change in the fall season, sports but especially college football, her hometown of Missoula, sweets (she was caught many times at midnight enjoying some), listening to a favorite song like “Lay Your Head on my Shoulder”, going to the movies (avid fan like her family), Her two favorite movies – the classic, “Singing in the Rain” or the hilarious “The Odd Couple”.
Gran, as she was always affectionately called by her family, found Psalm 23 to be the verse in the bible that brought her comfort and encouragement. She loved her family and friends and appreciated the great care givers at The Terrace at Beth Sholom. Shirley enjoyed living at the Terrace this last year of her life and made many friends. Some of her last words she wanted to share are “Be happy to all”.
A private family service will be held at a later date in Missoula, MT.
Shirley was a beneficiary of the Beth Sholom Terrace Scholarship which assists people in their efforts to live and be cared for at Beth Sholom . The family request any memorial donations be sent to: Beth Sholom Terrace Scholarship Fund 6401 Auburn Dr. Va. Beach, Va. 23464 ATTN: Claire Roth or call directly 757-961-3024 *In memory of Shirley Peters* or to Malaika For Life at www.malaikaforlife.org., founded by her granddaughter, Kristen Kenney.
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