Cover photo for Shirley Ann Leahy Smith's Obituary
Shirley Ann Leahy Smith Profile Photo
1935 Shirley 2023

Shirley Ann Leahy Smith

February 24, 1935 — October 17, 2023

Denver

Our dear mother, Shirley Ann Leahy Smith, sadly passed away on October 17, 2023, at the age of 88. We know Shirley is reunited with her best friend and true love, Edward Smith, her son, Mark Smith and her daughter-in-law Trish Smith. Shirley was an amazing mother and Nana. Always quick to offer a smile, an abundance of patience, guidance and wisdom to her children.

 

She is survived by 6 sons and 1 daughter.

Bob (Jodi), Ed (Sue), John (Michelle), Dave, Christy (Kirk), Matt (Karen), and Phil (Wendy). 

Shirley had 14 grandchildren: Cameron, Tori, Alec (Alex), 

Rachel (Brenden), Luke Smith, Courtney, Michael, Kirk, Jackson, Jordan, Luke Pierce, Devon, Tyson and Macoy. 

5 great grandchildren: Ash, Liam, Landon, Kayden, Maysin

Cousin MaryKay Love

Niece Barb Mullikin, Nephews Tom Hale, Mike and Rick Mills

 

Shirley personified resilience and perseverance throughout her life. She had a strong faith that God was always at her side. There was no quitting. When others would have broken, Shirley would smile and say, “it’s all going to work out. With a little blood and guts and a lot of prayer, we’ll see all our problems through to a happy conclusion”.

 

Shirley was born in 1935 on a farm near Ewing, Nebraska. You might say she was the “Cinderella” of the plains. Tragically, a tornado changed her life forever at the age of 7. She lost her parents, John and Rose, and two sisters as they were running for their storm shelter. Adding to the upheaval and devastation in her young life, the judge appointed a foster family to raise Shirley instead of her extended family. Starting her life over with a new family was very difficult. Without much support, she was determined to make a new life for herself. She worked hard and was an excellent student. Shirley received a scholarship from Mount Saint Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas.

 

After graduating in 1957, she moved to Denver, Colorado, with her roommate and never looked back. Shirley’s life thrived in Denver. She was immediately hired to teach at Cure d’Ars Catholic School. Shirley attended mass with her students every day. It was there she was spotted by the organist, Lillian Smith. Lillian noticed this sweet, smiling young lady and played matchmaker to Shirley and her son ED. Ed agreed to a first date and they both found true love. Being the determined young lady that she was, Shirley got tired of waiting for Ed’s proposal and asked him instead. Both Lillian and Shirley would agree, “Who needs eHarmony, just go to church”. Ed and Shirley were married for 55 years until Ed Passed in 2013.

 

Their first child, “Bobby” was born in 1959, with seven more to follow. Her youngest child, Phillip born in 1973. She left teaching to raise her family. Park Hill became Shirley's world. Shirley and Ed moved to the house on Eudora St after Christy was born. Two blocks away from Ed’s parents, Shirley was more than happy to have her “mom” nearby. She loved the neighborhood, Blessed Sacrament, going to Cotillion, and the dear friends she played bridge and watched the Broncos with as well as the community of wonderful people. Bridge was the one thing she did for herself, and she was good at it! Her face would light up at the mention of the game. She always had a deck of cards handy, hoping she could teach someone this game she loved.

 

In 1970 she started working Saturday afternoons in the emergency room at St Joseph Hospital. She loved her job. She was very much appreciated by her staff and the patients loved her enthusiasm. Working nights and weekends she earned a full-time managerial position. After retiring from St Joseph hospital, Shirley owned and operated The Papery card store. There she came alive and met every customer with a smile and engaging conversation. There were no strangers to Shirley, only new friends. Some were more interested in telling her their life stories than buying cards, but she didn’t mind. She had a fun sense of humor and a creative appeal for specialty cards. She felt great pride in carrying unique cards made by Colorado artists who visited her store. She loved sharing the story behind the card.

 

Shirley had many great attributes, cooking was a tad lower on the list, but stretching a penny was at the top of her honed abilities. For many years, she only went grocery shopping every other Saturday, armed with coupons for the numerous stores she would shop at and a few kids to carry all the bags. When you had to cook for that many boys, you just made sure the food found its way to the table. Her favorite recipes were anything that could be made from what she had hidden in the refrigerator or cupboard. Expiration dates didn’t matter, a little discoloration just added to the flavor. In her eyes, it wasn’t about the meal, it was about spending time together, living life to the fullest, and making your dreams come true.

 

A wife, a mother, a nana too,
This is the legacy we have from you.
You taught us love and how to fight,
You gave us strength, you gave us might.
A stronger person would be hard to find,
And in your heart, you were always kind.
You fought for us all in one way or another,
Not just as a wife not just as a mother.
For all of us you gave your best,
The time has come for you to rest.
So go in peace, you’ve earned your sleep,
Your love in our hearts, we’ll eternally keep

 

We are celebrating the beautiful life she lived with a viewing & rosary at Horan and McConaty, 11150 E Dartmouth Ave, Aurora, CO 80014 on Wednesday November 1, from 5-7 pm.

 

The funeral will be held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 4900 Montview Blvd, Denver, CO on Thursday, November 2 at 10:30am with reception to follow.

 

The Burial will take place at Fort Logan National Cemetery, 4400 W Kenyon Ave, Denver, CO at 2:30PM, where she will be laid to rest with her adoring husband.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Ann Leahy Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

5:00 - 6:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Horan & McConaty Funeral Service and Cremation - Southeast Denver/Aurora

11150 E Dartmouth Ave, Aurora, CO 80014

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Recitation of the Rosary

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

6:00 - 6:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Horan & McConaty Funeral Service and Cremation - Southeast Denver/Aurora

11150 E Dartmouth Ave, Aurora, CO 80014

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Thursday, November 2, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

4900 Montview Blvd, Denver, CO 80207

The funeral will be held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 4900 Montview Blvd, Denver, CO on Thursday, November 2 at 10:30am with reception to follow.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Thursday, November 2, 2023

2:30 - 2:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Fort Logan National Cemetery

4400 West Kenyon Avenue, Denver, 80236

The Burial will take place at Fort Logan National Cemetery, 4400 W Kenyon Ave, Denver, CO at 2:00, where she will be laid to rest with her adoring husband.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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