Shirley's Story

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Shirley A. Utley, age 74, of Joplin, Mo., passed away Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at Freeman Hospital following an illness.
Shirley was born on March 7, 1943, in Long Beach, Calif., the daughter of James and Virginia (Jones) Stirling. She moved to the area in 1970 and along with her husband, Bill, opened the Joplin Diesel Service, retiring in 2015.
She married William C. Utley Sr. on December 6, 1964. He preceded her in death on February 10, 2017.
Additional survivors include one son, William "Bill" Utley Jr. and wife, Beth, of Joplin; three daughters, Rita Reding, of Richmond, Va., Dawn Heinen and husband, Rick, of Lamar, Mo., Virginia "Genny" Alderman and husband, Harold, of Joplin; a foster son, whom they considered one of their own children, Kent Arehart, of Joplin; a brother, Dick Stirling, of Lake Havasu, Ariz., 16 grandchildren, Krystyn and husband, Michael, Felicia, Tiffini and husband, Austin, Brittany, Brooke, Brodie, Michael and wife, Whitney, Mandy and husband, Jeremy, P.J. and wife, Jackie, Emily and husband, Chase, Ethan, Scarlett, Adrian, Brandi, Daniel, Corona; 15 great-grandchildren; and over 200 children and grandchildren that Bill and Shirley have fostered and adopted throughout the years. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Bill.
Funeral services have been scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday evening at Mason-Woodard Chapel. Mark Heiskell, minister, will officiate. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory.
Published on December 15, 2017
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