Our beloved mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt passed away on January 17, 2024, surrounded by loved ones. She wanted to stay with her family, but her little body had completed its time. Her world centered around her family, always letting them know how much she appreciated them. We will miss her more than she will ever know.
Born Shirley Ernestine Reynolds on January 29, 1935, at her home in Columbus, Georgia to parents Winnie & Cyril Reynolds. Her first name came from the fact her mother was a Shirley Temple fan, her middle name came from her mother's brother, Ernest King. Shirley was the oldest of five children.
After World War II ended, Shirley's parents moved the family to Los Angeles, California for a short time. They moved back to Columbus, then back to California again, and then back to Georgia. After being teased about it at school in California, Shirley lost her southern accent. Shirley attended Jordan High School in Columbus and worked as a theater usher during school and a bank teller after graduating.
In the early 1950s, California came calling again in the form of a handsome soldier named Paul Griffiths from Long Beach who was stationed in Georgia. He had accompanied a friend to a church dance to meet the girl he had been dating. Unfortunately for the friend, Paul took one look at Shirley and knew he had to get her to go out with him. Much like Scarlett O'Hara, Shirley was surrounded by several suitors. Paul tricked his way through all of them by asking to look at a ring she was wearing. He refused to give the ring back until she agreed to go out with him. On their first date, Paul fell in love. Shirley was unsure about leaving her home and family, but a year later, the night before Paul was to leave for home, Shirley finally agreed to marry him.
Shirley and Paul were married on June 28, 1955, in the LDS temple in Mesa, Arizona. The couple then settled in Long Beach, California where they had four children. Shirley's family soon joined them in California, and she was lucky enough to have her parents and siblings nearby. Shirley was the ultimate 1950s homemaker, always with an immaculately clean home. Her children remember fun trips to the beach or to Knotts Berry Farm, and big family Christmases spent around a silver tinsel tree.
In 1970 Paul and Shirley moved to Millcreek, Utah where they lived for a time, finally settling in Bountiful near Bountiful Ridge Golf Course. There, Shirley also thrived in grandmotherhood. She hosted her whole family each Sunday for a big family dinner.
Board games were always included, a favorite of Paul's, and although Shirley rarely played, she loved to be a part of the conversation and give commentary, always reminding Paul to "use his nice voice". For each birthday she made a beautiful birthday cake, with presents in her living room and a few balloons always floating around. She loved spending time with grandchildren by taking them on shopping trips, for walks around the neighborhood to search for golf balls, or to her neighborhood pool complete with a lovely picnic each time.
Paul passed away in 2011. Shirley began a new phase of life with his passing and enjoyed spending quality time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They attended plays at Centerpoint Legacy Theater, went out for weekly lunches on Wednesdays, and started new yearly traditions, such as visiting Gardner Village in the fall or having flower-planting parties in the spring.
Shirley's faith was very important to her and she loved being a member of the LDS Church. She spent many years in service to her church as the wife of a bishop and also worked in the Bountiful Temple. She loved warm sunny days, the ocean, and pretty flowers. "See you on the other side" were her last words to her family. We love you and know you will always be with us.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Paul, parents, her brother Jim Reynolds, and her granddaughter, Christian Griffiths. She is survived by her children Greg (Mary) Griffiths, Sheryl Griffiths Bloyer, Susan Griffiths, and Steve (April) Griffiths, her brother John Reynolds, and her sisters Ann Main and Linda Garbowski. She is also survived by six grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held on January 29, 2024 from 9:00 - 9:45 am at Russon Mortuary, at 295 N. Main St. in Bountiful with funeral services following at 10 am. Graveside service will be held after the funeral at Lakeview Cemetery in Bountiful.
Services will be streamed live on Russon Mortuary Live Facebook page and on this obituary page below.