CASA GRANDE — Shirley Louise Kelley, 80, of Glenns Ferry, Idaho, died of heart failure on Jan. 8, 2020, while enjoying the sun in Casa Grande.
Mrs. Kelley was born on Dec. 23, 1939, to William H. and Marie O. Moore, in Nampa, Idaho. She grew up in Nampa and received a cosmetology degree in 1958 from Superior Western Beauty School. She loved her work as a beautician. She met the love of her life, James Kenneth Cole, on a blind date in 1958 and got engaged on their second night together. He left his career in the Air Force when they moved to Payette, Idaho, where he worked for the Payette Police Department. They later moved to Boise, where she was a homemaker and mother to their seven children. Jim later worked for a wholesale magazine company where she also worked, and many of her kids remember skipping school to help her deliver magazines. He then worked for Rostock Appliance & Furniture, where Rusty Rostock introduced them both to the boat business. This was the start of his love for boat mechanic work, which eventually led to the start of their own business, Cole’s Marine Center, in 1979. They retired from the business in 1998 and moved to Glenns Ferry, when their son Gary took over the business, and he continues to own it today. She also spent a few years working at the local Southside Market in Glenns Ferry.
She spent many years packing the station wagon and campers to ensure her children experienced fishing and camping each summer, some of their fondest memories. Most family vacations were spent at Brownlee Reservoir or on the Oregon Coast. She was an avid fisherman and could catch a fish on a worm better than any other person on the boat. She and the kids had a side worm bait business throughout the summers, and she taught them all how to catch their own night crawlers. She never met a fishing pole or boat she didn’t want to be a part of. She and Jim lived within modest means, canning their own food through assembly lines with their children and filling their freezers with fish, potatoes from Uncle Mike’s farm and anything Jim could hunt and bring home to eat. She never missed taking her children to free community events, such as annual Easter egg hunts, fish derbies and holiday parades. Even though the family didn’t have much, she made sure Santa provided a plentiful Christmas for her kids, which meant late nights sewing Barbie doll clothes that started each October.
Some of the best times for the couple were the many years volunteering for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, where she held many positions, including running the district store and earning a top leadership position as commodore of the 13th District. This allowed them to travel to many places and make special friends who shared their passion of boating and fishing. She was a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security, as part of her Coast Guard efforts. They had been married for 43 years when Jim died. She later married Charles Howard of Glenns Ferry, who died in 2011. She married Jack Kelley in 2013, and he was by her side upon her death. They enjoyed their local church families. She enjoyed sewing matching dresses for her girls, and anything else that could be made instead of purchased. She grew a new love for making jewelry and craft items in her retirement years, as well as growing vegetables to sell at flea markets in Arizona and Mountain Home, Idaho. She loved yard sales, too. She was a committed caretaker for all three of her husbands until the very end.
In addition to two husbands, Mrs. Kelley was preceded in death by an infant son, Russell Cole, and three brothers, Stanley, Roger and Russell Moore. Survivors include her husband; six daughters and sons, Judith Dishner, Connie Miller, James Kenneth Cole, Melody Fourtner, Gary Cole and Kristina McClendon; a brother, Thomas Moore; nine stepchildren; and many grandchildren.
In honor of her request, a private celebration of life will be planned this summer at C.J. Strike Reservoir, her favorite fishing spot.
Contributions may be sent to: Shirley Kelley Memorial Fund, c/o Connie Miller, Icon Credit Union, 1010 Whitewater Park Blvd., Boise, ID 83703, to assist with Jack’s future health care.
J. Warren Funeral Services, Cole & Maud The Gardens Chapel in charge of arrangements.