Shirley Helen Bruce Gerdes Clark


Shirley Helen Bruce Gerdes Clark, age 85, passed peacefully on January 11, 2018.

Shirley was born November 29, 1932 in Bozeman, Montana. Her mother, Lucile Helen Decelles died in February 1933. Her father, Ray Bruce, kept his family, four girls, together and moved to Missoula, Montana.

She grew up in Missoula. When she was four years old Ray Bruce married Edna Mable Pickering. Edna became their kind and nurturing mother. Shirley’s sister, Martha Lea, was born when Shirley was thirteen years old.

At age seventeen she became a telephone operator. She loved working the cord board.

She married Gary Eugene Boyles in 1951. They had four children. She was able to stay home with the children for thirteen years. They were divorced in 1969.

She again worked for the phone company, transferring into engineering. She was a technical assistant, a draft person. She retired in 1992.

Shirley was an artist. She liked to draw and paint and do caricatures. She liked people and had an understanding heart.

She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1963. She served in Primary, Young Women and Relief Society.

She married Loren Albert Gerdes in 1971. They lived in East Helena, Montana; Payson, Utah and, since 1977, Salem, Utah. She and Loren accepted into their home a grand-daughter, Bobbi Dawn and for a year a foreign student from Finland, Riikka Holopainen. They also adopted as grandchildren nine Gregsons, five Perretts and Riikka.

Loren died June 10th, 2002.

Shirley served a mission in New Zealand from October 2003 until spring 2005. In August of 2010 she married Donald Clark. Donald is a clean, kind, loving member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In July 2012, Shirley had a heart attack and received a double bypass in open heart surgery and Don has nurtured and cared for her since.

She has few regrets. She learned to live in gratitude, thankful for each day of life and for Don and for her children and grandchildren.

She is survived by Don Clark, her children Rebecca Lynn (Richard) Hunt, Stephen Michael (Robyn) Boyles, Tyler Bruce (Mariette) Boyles and Susan B. Free, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren and her sister Martha Lea Johnson. She is preceded in death by her mothers, Lucile Decelles Bruce and Edna Pickering Bruce, her father Ray Bruce and her sisters, Bonnie Burgess, Adele Zink and Betty Bruce.

Funeral services will be held Monday, January 15, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Salem Apple Blossom Chapel, 25 W. Apple Blossom Way, Salem, Utah. Family and friends may visit at the church on Sunday evening, January 14, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and again on Monday morning prior to services from 9:00-9:45 a.m. Interment will be in the Salem City Cemetery.

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