Shirley Mae Phippen Sealy April 7, 1922 — June 11, 2015

 

Together Again! Friends since junior high, married for over 70 years, Shirley and Milt are reunited after a three-and-a-half-year separation here on earth.

Shirley Mae Phippen Sealy — Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Friend, Singer, Writer, Performer. Her patriarchal blessing said she "sang and shouted for joy" at the opportunity to come to earth and receive her body. She has completed her earthly mission and has returned to her Heavenly home, now singing with the angels!

Shirley, age 93, passed away on June 11,2015, at the Ashford Assisted Living Center in Highland, Utah, from causes incident to age; surrounded by love on both sides of the veil. Shirley loved Life; Gospel, Husband, Children, Home, and Family. She was a woman of faith with a positive personality. Her life was filled with service; her heart full of love.

Shirley was born April 7, 1922, in Rupert, Idaho to Melvin Earl Phippen and Edna Laker Cook. She was raised and educated in Logan, Utah; graduated from Logan High School in 1940. A year later she married Leon Milton Sealy on September 17, 1941 in Preston, Idaho; sealed December 18, 1942 in Logan Temple, Utah. Milton passed away November 30, 2011, in St. George, Utah. During their first 30 years together they raised five children in Salt Lake City, Utah. The next 30 years were spent in Highland, Utah, and the last decade in St. George, Utah. Much to the delight of those who missed her, Shirley returned to Highland during her final six-months.

Shirley was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved the youth of the Church and dedicated her life to helping them learn and grow. As one of the first LDS fiction authors, Shirley is remembered as a pioneer in LDS fiction. For over 20 years she was a popular storytelling author, in demand as a speaker for youth groups and conferences. When asked why she liked to write she said, "Writing is the best way I know to get the inside out. I write to find out about me. I write about life, not especially as it is, but as it can and should be."

Shirley was a Thoroughly Modern Millie kind of girl who loved learning new things. She enjoyed computer technology, modern decor, and the arts—theater, music, painting and literature. Her years of dedicated church service in various callings filled her life with beauty and helped her see goodness with spiritual eyes. She wrote and directed numerous ward road shows, stake drama productions, and June Conference plays for the Young Woman’s General Board. Shirley was also a popular performer in the Salt Lake Valley among women's organizations. She wrote her own mini versions of Broadway musicals, sewing original costumes, and using her vocal talents to delight both young and old. She also enjoyed performing as a soloist and member of the Allegro Choir in Salt Lake City.

Shirley’s sewing skills have blessed the lives of her children and numerous grandchildren throughout her life. She spent many late nights sewing everything from Halloween costumes to prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and wedding gowns. As a grandmother she quilted and tied countless baby blankets that became cherished favorites to snuggle with. Grandchildren who visited her never left empty-handed, always taking home a healthy homemade cookie. Even in her advanced years she had a supply of suckers and chocolate ready for eager hands.

During her Highland years, Shirley contributed to a local newspaper column and taught writing classes for the community education program. She took advantage of every opportunity to gain knowledge, attending BYU Education Week every year, and adopting her mentor's Steven Covey's ideas of personal development. Whether writing books, doing genealogy and personal histories, or just lending a listening ear, Shirley was an example of strength during adversity—a hero in her own story. She is loved and admired by her posterity and friends, and although considered a celebrity in literary circles, to her five children she is just "Mom." We love you Mom. We've always felt your love. We carry it in our hearts like a song, until we meet again.

Shirley is survived by her three daughters, Vicki Clayton (Richard), Linda Ottley (Dale), and Loni Hatch (Blaine); by her son-in-law, Neal Maxfield (Jeannine), and daughter-in-law, Lori Sealy. Survived by her sisters, Ruth Malmberg, Claudia King, brother, McKay Phippen (Joyce), plus 24 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren, and two great, great grandchildren. Also survived by seven half-brothers and sisters, Earl Phippen (Marie), Joan Lindley (Gary), Gaylene Wright (Rodney), David Phippen, Cora McKinney, Cathy Severe (Jeff), and Julie Ball. Preceded in death by her husband, Milton Sealy, her parents, daughter, Judy Maxfield, son, Devro Sealy, daughter-in-law, Gayle Birch Sealy, and grandson, Skyler Sealy; preceded in death by her brother, Melvin Phippen, sisters, Maurine Dunford, Dona Andrews, and Helen Phippen.

As her family, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Platinum Care Assisted Living, St. George, Utah, Ashford Assisted Living, Highland, Utah, and Brighton Home Health and Hospice, for their loving and respectful care.

Funeral services will be held Friday, June 26, 2015, at 11:00 am at the Highland 4th LDS Avonmore Chapel, 5848 West 11000 North, Highland, Utah. Family and friends may call Thursday evening from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Warenski Funeral Home, 1776 North 900 East, American Fork, Utah and also at an additional viewing on Friday morning from 9:30-10:30 am prior to services at the church. Interment will take place Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 12:00 noon in the Laketown Cemetery in Laketown, Utah.

 

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