Shirley Somes
Shirley Somes
  • May 18, 1939 - July 29, 2017
  • Descanso, California

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Shirley Jean Somes

Born in Kuttawa Kentucky to parents Robert Eugene and Martha Rose (Harrell) Gray, Shirley and her family moved west to Goodyear Arizona when she was just a child. Attending Phoenix College and ASU she obtained a teaching credential in elementary school education and overall affected the lives of nearly 1000 students over a 31 year teaching career in San Diego California. She eventually completed courses at Pepperdine in order to achieve an MA in education plus 90 units.

Shirley loved to travel and went to many countries around the world following her retirement from teaching in the San Diego Unified School District. Local travel was no exception to her desire to see and do everything she could to the fullest, including ocean cruises, RV camping, boating, 4x4 off-roading, and desert ATV riding.

An avid quilter, Shirley gave many of her creations away to friends and family in addition to mentoring several friends new to quilting. She was also active in her community following retirement from education. She founded and set up a scholarship award program for graduating high school seniors with the Friends of the Descanso Library in addition to being a past president and vice president of that group. A new scholarship award program is being set up in her honor to aid those already attending college. Other associations included membership in the local Garden Club, Book Club, and the Chapel of the Hills UMC. She was a founding member of the Descanso Emergency Preparedness Group and Fire Safe Council and served as treasurer for many years. She was also a member and past president of the Psi chapter Alpha Delta Kappa sorority for women in education.

Shirley was very excited about recently being acknowledged as a Daughter of the American Revolution. An earlier achievement included becoming an Honored Queen of Job's Daughters.

Shirley was recently preceded in passing by her brother David, her mother Rose, and her nephew Andy. She is survived by her husband of 32 years Dave Somes of Descanso Ca., daughter Stacy Ochoa and grandchildren Kaylin and Jamie North of Bonsall Ca., son Devon Smith and grandchildren Camerin and Sydney of Canton Mi., and sister Joy Zeitelhack of Phoenix Az.

Shirley was such a warm and loving inspiration and mentor to so many others in her life whether family, friend, co-worker, or student. She touched so many lives with her unselfish giving nature, and we all now miss her deeply. Every time you see a hummingbird, know that Shirley's love is near.

A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Friday August 11 2017 at El Camino Sorrento Valley Chapel at noon.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggest that financial or volunteer donations be made in her name to the ALS Association of San Diego ( 858-271-5547.