Shirley Ann Abbott Syphus passed away June 21, 2018, at her home in Murray, Utah. She was born Oct. 7, 1924, in St. George, Washington County, Utah. She was the daughter of Myron Decator Abbott and Martha Ann Burgess. Her beloved husband, Edward Ross Syphus, preceded her in death by 10 years. She was a wonderful mother to her five children and a blessing in the lives of her extended family and those who knew her.
At the time of her death she was a spry and active 93-year old. Most every day she exercised and walked 5 miles. She could be seen working among her flowers constantly. Her yard and home exemplified how much she loved all things beautiful.
Although she was born in St. George, Shirley grew up in Mesquite, Nevada, as the youngest of five children. When she was only three years old, her father was killed in a work-related accident. Shortly before and after her father’s death, two of her brothers passed away as well. Even though these early years were filled with tragedy, Shirley and her family felt much love and support from the small community of Mesquite.
When Shirley was a teenager her family moved to St. George. She thrived and enjoyed these years as well. She reigned as Queen at the “Santa Claus Sweetheart Ball” at Dixie High.
Shirley was just 17 years old and finishing high school when she and Ross were married on Feb. 6, 1942, in the St. George Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One month later, Ross left on an LDS mission to Toronto, Canada. Later Shirley received a call to join her husband as a missionary in Toronto as well.
Following their missions, Shirley and Ross made their home in St. George where four of their five children were born. They eventually moved to the Salt Lake City area in 1958 where they added one more child to the family.
Shirley was devoted to her family. She supported Ross with his civil engineering business. She taught her children well, not only the truths of the gospel, but how to work hard. She showed them by example to develop strong character traits and to serve others.
Shirley loved every minute of her service in the church. She had many callings of leadership, too numerous to mention. For many years she served as an ordinance worker in the Jordan River Temple. She attended the temple every week. She was forever serving others right up to the time of her death.
Shirley and Ross served two additional missions for the LDS church: at the St. George Visitors Center and at the Plantation Care Center.
Shirley is survived by five children: Myron Ross Syphus (Eva), Carol Ann Reid (Lawrence), Marilyn Mann (Clynn), Mary Syphus and Lawrence Abbott Syphus (Shaunna); 20 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild and more on the way.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Edward Ross Syphus; brothers L.K. Abbott, Eo Abbott and Denzil Abbott; and sister Millie Gwinn.
- Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 27, at 11 a.m. at the Meadows Ward Chapel, 5735 South Fashion Boulevard, Murray, Utah, with a viewing Tuesday, June 26, from 6-8 p.m. as well as prior to the funeral from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
- All visitations are at the Meadows Ward Chapel.
- Burial will be Thursday, June 28, at 9 a.m. in the St. George City Cemetery, 700 E. Tabernacle St., St. George, Utah.
Online condolences at Larkin Mortuary online.