Shirley Hone Phillips, 87, of Pocatello passed away peacefully on October 16, 2021, with her husband and children at her side at her long-time family home. Shirley was born October 12, 1934, to George Sterling and Mildred Louise Wright Hone in Firth, Idaho. She was the second child to that happy family along with her older brother Dean. She loved living in a rural community where there was an abundance of extended family to share her life with. However, tragedy struck early in her life, when at the age of eight, her mother died from cancer. Big brother Dean was a comforter and protector to that little girl who lost her mother at a tender age. Her father later married Blenda Reynolds and soon Shirley’s family grew to include sisters Carol, Jan, Marilyn, Barbara and a brother Jim. During her childhood years she especially loved to go to Uncle Bert’s and Aunt Melissa’s small ranch near Blackfoot where she had a special relationship with her cousin Bertie that lasted her entire life. She enjoyed plenty of adventures and mischief with her siblings and many cousins.
Shirley attended schools in Firth, 1st through 8th grade in a four-room school with two grades together in each room. She graduated from Firth High School in 1952 where she was active in choir, glee club, the newspaper staff and band. In her graduating year each senior penned a yearbook phrase that described themselves. Not surprisingly Shirley’s phrase was “What’s life without a little mischief?” That certainly was apt for her lifetime. Attending school with a small class created great friendships and Shirley enjoyed attending class reunions with her fellow Cougars.
After high school Shirley attended cosmetology school at Idaho State College in Pocatello. With behind the scenes help from Aunt Donna, she met and caught the eye of one James Phillips, an Ashton Idaho boy just back from serving with the Idaho National Guard in Korea. He was also attending Idaho State in the electrical program. Soon sparks were flying and the two were married on November 18, 1953. Jim became employed by Idaho Power Co. and the couple made Pocatello their home. Soon they added five baby boomers to make their family complete. Mildred, James, Colleen, Todd and Laura. Her children created more than a full-time job for Shirley. She was committed to providing them with a loving, safe and secure home and childhood. She taught them many valuable life lessons, most importantly a love of God and Christ their Savior. She knew that love and kindness offered would also be returned. To know Shirley was to love her, she made friends easily. With her love and patience Jim became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Shirley and Jim were sealed together in 2001 in the Idaho Falls Temple. They enjoyed 67 devoted years together and passed, by deed and word, important attributes of a successful and balanced life to their children.
In addition to raising her children Shirley was active in her ward filling many church callings in the LDS 2nd Ward. She also enjoyed camping, water fights, reading books, knitting and crocheting, traveling near and far, playing cards, spending time with family and friends, and being a home room mother. She had a special passion for singing that developed from her childhood. She sang at church, weddings and funerals, with the Sweet Adelines, the Silver Chords and at ISU.
After raising her children, she had another important role in life she cherished immensely – being a grandmother to nine granddaughters and three grandsons. Grandma Shirley loved spending time collectively and individually with her grandchildren. They all have special grandma stories of mischief and laughter. She was loved and adored by her grandchildren. Her life will continue to have a lasting impression upon them.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Dean and her daughter Mildred Flandro. She is survived by her husband James of Pocatello, four sisters and a brother and their spouses, her children James (Jody) Phillips of Boise, Colleen (Ricky) Hammers of Pocatello, Todd (Lona) Phillips of Burley, Laura Phillips of Boise, son-in law Michael Flandro of Pocatello, 12 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren. Shirley’s family thanks the staff (to numerous to name) at the Gables for many years of care and Heritage Hospice for their loving care with special thanks to Dr. Mills, Marion, Jenny, Renee and Stevie.
A visitation will be held November 5th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Cornelison Funeral Home, 431 N. 15th Ave., Pocatello. The funeral service will be November 6th at 11:00 am at the Caldwell Park LDS Ward, 135 S. 7th, Pocatello, conducted by Shirley’s retired chaplain son James, with a visitation before the funeral from 10:00 am to 10:30 am. Burial will be at Mountain View Cemetery, Pocatello.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornelisonfh.com