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Shirley Arthur Lanier

April 20, 1935 May 31, 2019
Shirley Arthur Lanier
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Obituary for Shirley Arthur Lanier

Shirley Mae Arthur Lanier, 84, passed peacefully at Pacifica Senior Living in Peoria, AZ on May 31, 2019 following a long battle with dementia. Shirley was born on April 20, 1935 in Altavista, VA. She was preceded in death by her parents Rucker J. Arthur, Sr. and Lola Frazier Arthur; her brothers RJ Arthur, Jr. and William Oliver Arthur; sisters- and brothers-in-law, two beloved nephews (Vern and Kenneth Arthur) and niece Leslie Lanier. She is survived by her husband Ralph Lanier of Arizona, two daughters Susan Lanier-Graham (husband William Graham) of Texas and Catherine Lanier of Oregon. She is also survived by one grandson, Patrick Graham (wife Kamilla Graham), and five great-grandchildren—Nathan (14), John (12), Zoe (11), Morgan (8), and William (4)—all of Arizona. She is survived by nine sisters-in-law, three brothers-in-law, and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

Shirley was born and raised in Altavista, Virginia. She met and married the man who stole her heart on November 9, 1957 and they celebrated their 61st anniversary this past November. Shirley and Ralph operated the family farm and a small farm service store in Hurt, VA. In 1969, Shirley began working part-time at the library at Lynchburg Christian Academy while her daughters attended school. She drove a car full of kids back and forth to school, 30 miles each way, and never seemed to tire of hearing kid stories. She fondly thought of her library friends and students her entire life. After 20 years in business in Hurt, the family moved west.

In July 1977, Shirley and Ralph moved to Colorado. They bought a home east of Colorado Springs and a ranch in Steamboat Springs. Shirley fell in love with Colorado and enjoyed life in a ski town. A year later, they purchased Grounds Repair Shop in Craig, where she became the smiling face of Grounds Repair, behind the counter with a friendly hello in her sweet Southern drawl. She and Ralph ran Grounds Repair for 28 years until they sold it to retire and move to Payson, AZ in 2006. After a few years in the Arizona mountains of Payson, they moved to Maricopa, a suburb of Phoenix. All those years — 48 of them — Ralph and Shirley worked side-by-side growing their businesses. They were an amazing team.

Life in Arizona became some of their favorite times spent with neighbors, enjoying backyard barbecues, casino runs, Sunday brunches, and shopping. She loved to read and was always in the middle of at least one book. She treasured time spent with her friends, both near and far. Shirley loved her family first and foremost. She loved to travel and explore and saw the beauty in everything. She will be missed dearly.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Palos Verdes Senior Living in Peoria, AZ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Hospice of the Valley, which provided heartfelt extended end-of-life care.


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Hospice of the Valley

1510 E. Flower St.
Phoenix, AZ 85014
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