Shirley M. Canepa, 93, passed away on Easter, April 4, 2021 in Denver. Having survived numerous battles of breast and skin cancer her life succumbed to its wear and tear. She now rests in peace with Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior.
Shirley was born on December 31, 1927 to Jack A. and Hazel M. Smith of Denver at a New Years Eve party-yes, she was born at the party! Shirley was always up for fun! Oh, how many times we'd hear "I was born at a party for a reason". She had a smile and a kind word for everyone. Even in her last days she was more concerned with how others were feeling and offered her food and drink that she so desperately needed.
She grew up in Denver where she attended East High School. While at East she was elected May Queen. As a girl she was known as the consummate 'tom boy', participating in athletic activities such as tennis, softball, basketball, skiing and the game of golf that she enjoyed well into her later years.
Shirley attended the University of Denver for one year and then transferred to the University of Colorado. At Boulder she pursued an Arts and Sciences degree and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. As a sorority girl she was featured in Life Magazine (December 17, 1945) in an article entitled "College Sororities".
Her college career was cut short when she met her husband on the driving range at Park Hill Golf Course. On January 2, 1948 she married Charles F. Canepa in Denver. Shirley and Charles lived in central and south Denver until 1965 when the family moved to Hiwan Golf Club in Evergreen. While dating they introduced Charles's sister to Shirley's brother and they were married shortly thereafter. This, they loved as the two families thoroughly enjoyed each other over the years, sharing many reunions at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park.
At Hiwan, she was involved in the women's golf, tennis and bridge programs. In the early 1970's Shirley created and managed a program for the amputee's of Children's Hospital and Craig Hospital. She organized their transportation to Hiwan, the procurement of their equipment and the ladies of Denver and Evergreen that volunteered to give even the quadriplegics a taste of the game of golf. In 1976, she volunteered as the liaison between Hiwan Golf Club and the United States Golf Association for the U. S. Junior Amateur Championship. She was subsequently named as Golf Digest's Golfing Housewife and appeared in its magazine. She also was an active committee member for the Children's Hospital LPGA Pro-Am and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Survived by son and daughter-in-law Charles and Marcia Canepa, daughter and son-in-law Christine and William Uhlemann, granddaughter and grandson-in-law Katelynn Uhlemann and Casey Cormier, and granddaughter McKenzie Uhlemann (Benjamin Buttice). After being widowed in 1988 she remained in the home that she loved in Hiwan until 2017 when she moved to the Village of Belmar, a senior living facility in Lakewood.
Our family thanks her many friends for all the enjoyment and love you shared with her. A special thank you goes out to close friends, Ann Voshall and Dave Scruby, for the love, affection and care they provided to "Sweet Pea" for many years. She was a people person that got her best energy from her family and friendships-that's what kept her going for so many years.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any rescue shelter for animals. At this point, there'll not be a service due to the COVID and the respect we give it.