Cover photo for Shirley J Phipps's Obituary
Shirley J Phipps Profile Photo
1939 Shirley 2015

Shirley J Phipps

March 22, 1939 — October 5, 2015

Shirley Jeanne (Michaels) Phipps went to be with our Lord and Savior on Oct. 5, 2015, a stunning and unexpected loss of a vibrant, selfless, and incredibly hard-working lady. Shirley was the beloved wife of William "Bill" Phipps, and they celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Oregon coast last month. Shirley cherished and celebrated her family. She will be greatly missed by husband Bill, son Scott and his children Jake Phipps and Melinda "Mindee" Phipps, son Troy and wife June and their children Ian Phipps, Ben Ritter, Abby Ritter and Liam Phipps, sister Judy Gross, brother Tom Michaels and wife Jennie, long-lost but recently-found sister Paddy Mcallister, aunt Merilyn Atwood, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, cousins, and many, many friends. Shirley was preceded in death by her parents Earl and Helen Michaels. She was born in Kellogg ID on March 22, 1939, and grew up in the family's "Builders Supply and Hardware" store at Loon Lake WA. Shirley attended the 2-room schoolhouse at Loon Lake through 8th grade, and was Valedictorian of Deer Park H.S. class of 1957. Throughout high school she loved to swim and taught swimming and lifesaving classes. After high school Shirley worked in system operations at Washington Water Power until she resigned in 1959 when she married Bill due to company policy prohibiting marraiges between employees. She's worked as an accounting clerk, insurance agent, realtor, and endowment fund coordinator for the Spokane Symphony. The majority of her life however, was focused on being a "professional volunteer", serving terms as PTA president, Spokane Food Bank board member, Women of the Water Power President, class reunion organizer, Washington Water Power Legacy Scholarship Foundation treasurer (current), and numerous volunteer roles with other organizations through the years. For over 50 years Shirley has been an active member of North Hill Christian Church, serving in many leadership and behind-the-scenes roles. Shirley and Bill are active members of the Spokane Lilac Festival since 1974, serving as 1999 Festival President and First Lady. They served as hospitality coordinators for this year's Lilac Festival Parade and have cherished the friendships that have grown along the way. Since 1969 Shirley was active with the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) and has served as Washington State GFWC President and other positions with the Woman's Club of Spokane, including three terms as President and her current role as club treasurer. Shirley was a past member of the GFWC National Board, and enjoyed many trips to state and national conventions. Her pride and joy is the club's Vintage Fashion Collection, which she started in honor of Washington state's centennial celebration in 1981 and has nurtured faithfully ever since. In-memoriam, this past Tuesday the club's trustees voted to re-name this wonderful assortment of historical clothing, “The Shirley J. Phipps Vintage Fashion Collection.” With grandchildren, Shirley took on a new role as chief cheerleader. Although she didn't much care about most sports, she was a fixture in the grandstands rain or shine and rarely missed a game (and there have been MANY). You would also find her in or near the front row whenever there was a play, concert, or recital involving her grandchildren. A celebration of life service will be held Sunday October 11th at 3:00pm at North Hill Christian Church, 4620 N. Post (Post and Wellesley), Spokane. In lieu of flowers, tax deductible memorial gifts may be made to any of the organizations that were so much a part of her life: North Hill Christian Church, GFWC Woman’s Club of Spokane, or the Spokane Lilac Festival Association. http://www.nhchristian.org https://www.facebook.com/SpokaneWomansClub http://spokanelilacfestival.org
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