Shirley Francis Waller Hollstein, adored wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away Jan. 12, 2022, at her home in Salt Lake City, surrounded by loved ones. She was an admired teacher in the Salt Lake City schools and a devoted civic volunteer.
She was born June 14, 1927, in Salt Lake City to James Clyde Waller and Mary Marshall Waller. She married Milton Clifford Hollstein on Sept. 1, 1948, in Salt Lake City. They had three children, three grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
She was educated in Sugar House and East Mill Creek elementary schools and at Olympus Junior High School. She was a 1945 graduate of Granite High School where she was the first woman student body president. She received her B.S. degree in 1949 and M.Ed in 1974 from the University of Utah and earned many credits beyond her master’s. As an undergraduate, she was active in music publications and other student affairs and was honored by the election to Cwean, Mortar Board, and Beehive honor societies. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
She began her career as an educator in 1949, teaching fifth grade at Highland Park School in the Salt Lake District. Later she taught kindergarten and fourth grade in Iowa City, Iowa, and kindergarten and second grade in Eureka, Calif. She also taught first grade in the International School of Beijing, China in 1987-88. She taught kindergarten and first grade in the Salt Lake School District at Glendale and M. Lynn Bennion (earlier Webster) schools from 1970 until her retirement in 1996.
She served on many district and school committees and councils and was Salt Lake coordinator of the governor’s GIFT program. After her retirement, she was an enthusiastic coordinator of volunteer reading programs in the Salt Lake schools.
She enjoyed traveling the United States and the world with her husband, visiting or living in more than 50 countries, and living in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Arcata, and Los Angeles, Calif. She spent an academic year in Burma in 1960-61 and a full year in China in 1987-88. She studied kindergartens in Scandinavia, Germany, and the Netherlands on a sabbatical leave in 1979 and was a member of a select Utah educators’ delegation that studied and reported on Jordanian society in a summer-long stay in Amman in 1982.
A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she served in many capacities including Primary stake music director and on the Relief Society Stake Board as a literacy specialist. She was a ward choir president, Young Women’s leader, Primary president, and a Camp Fire Girls and Cub Scout leader. Most recently, she taught smaller children in Primary until she was 92 years old.
She was an officer for many years in the Utah Nature Study Society and in the Salt Lake chapter of the education sorority Alpha Delta Kappa. She was a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Arts Club, and American Association of University Women. She was active in the Assistance League of Salt Lake City, especially in the Act III singing group, Book Bank, and School Bell programs.
She was an indefatigable garden enthusiast and loved crafts and gourmet cooking and was a legendary baker of cinnamon rolls.
On her retirement, Bennion students and teachers planted a tree on the school grounds to honor her as a loving teacher and colleague and to recognize her work with Tree Utah and the Salt Lake City forester to get trees planted throughout Central City and to restore the historic pre-pioneer cedar tree on Sixth East.
Shirley is survived by her daughter Helynne (Lynne) Hansen, Salt Lake City; son Mark (Yoshiko) Hollstein, Kyoto, Japan; grandchildren Joseph (Charlotte) Hansen, Fairfield, CA; Mary (Jesse) Booth, Centerville, Utah; Kristof Hollstein, Kyoto, Japan; and great-grandchildren Dorothy, Elliot, Ruby, Lena, and Liesl Hansen, Fairfield, CA; and Jordan and Madeleine Booth, Centerville, Utah. She was preceded in death by her parents, her son John, her brother James Clyde Waller Jr., and her husband Milton.
Funeral services will be on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at 11:00 am at the Crestview Ward, 2295 Crestview Drive South, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Viewings will be held on Monday, January 17, 2022, from the hours of 6-8 pm at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Tuesday 10:00 - 10:45 prior to services at church. Interment to follow at Wasatch Lawn Cemetery.
Our condolences to Shirley's family and friends. She was proud of her pioneer ancestors. She was a member of Daughters of Utah Pioneers, joining in 1999, 23 years!
WOW - What a woman! Strong, kind, knowledgable, certain. We are privileged to have known her mostly through her children and grandchildren. Until we meet again.
Oh how we love Shirley! She was an amazing and delightful woman and a legendary primary teacher! I’ll always remember the crowd of kids dropping by her classroom for Oreos! She definitely made a mark on many.
Sending all our love to Lynne and the family. ❤️