Shirlee Christensen

Obituary of Shirlee Christensen

Shirlee Christensen was born October 23, 1926, the first child of Jesse Erval Christensen and Christa Mix Christensen. Living on a farm in Orem, Utah, with her parents and siblings, Marilyn and Steve, and her Christensen grandparents just a few houses away, she considered her growing up years “ideal.” As a teen during World War II, Shirlee and her sister Marilyn held scrap drives for anything that would be useful in the war effort. As a young adult, Shirlee organized social activities for soldiers who visited their home from Bushnell Army Hospital for injured service members. At Brigham Young University Shirlee was elected vice president of the junior class and became president of the O.S. Trovata sorority. She met Don Hansen at BYU, married, and they had seven children. Her main passions were family and writing. Underlying both was an intense commitment to helping others grow and develop their own gifts and talents. She taught English (elementary, middle school, and college), owned art galleries in California to promote talented new artists, wrote poetry (she was called the “poet laureate” of the Bloomsday 5K Run in Spokane), and was active in the Utah branch of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. She also served as an adult Sunday school teacher and in other capacities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In all these activities, she was fascinated by the people she met and was interested in their successes, loves, and challenges. Her zeal for life was infectious and throughout her entire life said she was “excited to see what comes next.” Her idea of family was expansive, encompassing much more than only “bloodkin,” but also those she called “choicekin.” We are grateful to be part of Shirlee’s family, whether we are family by blood, by our own choice, or by having been chosen. In addition to her parents, Shirlee was preceded in death by a daughter, Christa Dennehy; a grandson Michael Dennehy; a half-brother, Michael Holdaway; and her former spouse, Don Hansen. She is survived by her sister Marilyn Clark and brother Steve and his wife Ann Christensen; a sister-in-law, Ardenna Holdaway; six children and their spouses: Mervyn Dennehy, Eric and Jennifer Hansen, Sara Hansen, Jeff and Gabi Hansen, Julie and Rodger South, Russell Hansen, and Millie and Blake Westley; and by eleven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. She lived for many years with Julie and Rodger South and their children, Kyler and Kira, whose loving attention enriched and likely extended her life by many years. Shirlee passed away in the late evening of February 7, 2021 with her daughter Sara present. Services for Shirlee Christensen: Memorial activities will be held on February 20, 2021, beginning at 9:30 am Pacific Time, in Everson, Washington (near Bellingham), with a Zoom option. Please see the link below for details on location, schedule, and Zoom links. Individuals desiring to attend via Zoom who have not used Zoom or have not used it recently are encouraged to download the updated software beforehand.
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9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Consult Family
Everson, Washington, United States
The family will be holding a private memorial with the option to be present on Zoom. That can be accessed via this link: