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Obituary: Shirley Ann (White) Stephenson


December 21, 2017

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Shirley Ann Stephenson

Shirley Ann (White) Stephenson was born on March 30th, 1945 in Petersburg, Alaska and passed away on December 8, 2017 after a tragic fall at her home in Palm Desert, California. Shirley was second to the oldest of four children born to Howard and June White.

Shirley started and finished school in Petersburg. After graduating from Petersburg High School, she attended college in Colorado where she met Randy Stephenson. They were married in the Petersburg Lutheran Church on July 1st, 1967. They were inseparable and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

After graduating from college, they relocated to California where she worked in the commercial banking industry for 35 years. Although extremely busy with her career, she found the time to earn a PhD in Business Administration. Shirley completed her career as President and CEO of a California credit union.

Shirley and Randy divided their time between their homes in Palm Desert and Redondo Beach. After her retirement, Shirley was able to pursue her passion for animals, especially dogs. Shirley had several dogs over the years, but she formed a special love for her rescue dogs Jazz & Ziva. Neighbors would often see her on her bicycle with Jazz in the basket wearing a pair of doggie goggles and her nose into the wind.

In 2009, Shirley published her first novel, "Elizabeth's Journey". A historically accurate novel based upon the true story her grandmother Elizabeth Rodgers, and her journey from Sweden to the United States and finally to the Alaska Territory in the winter of 1918.

Her second book published in 2011, "Jazz the Mentalist Dog" is the true story of the special animal-human relationship with "Jazz", her Border Terrier she rescued from a California animal shelter.

Shirley loved the outdoors. She ran marathons, rode her bike and was an amateur photographer. She enjoyed a good play, and was an avid reader. She had such a positive outlook on life and brought joy to those who knew her. She will be deeply missed by all that knew her.

She is survived by her loving husband Randy, sister Hoopie Davidson (Bill) and brother Bill White (Donna), Aunt Betty Pederson, nephew Robert Davidson (Jean), niece Christina Gneiser (Rich), cousins Jean Curry (Clyde), Roger Pederson, Jean White (Olinda), Sandra Edgars (Gordon), Irene Littleton (Rodney), and Bonnie Erickson (Mike).

Per her wishes, her ashes will be scattered over the ocean with a small memorial service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to "Best Friends Animal Society" of Kanab, Utah 84741 (www.


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