Enormously beloved by family and many friends, Shirley Pipkin Carter passed away very peacefully on June 10, 2022. She had been a resident at the Four Corners Regional Care Center in Blanding since February 2022.
Shirley was born in Cedar Point, Utah, on August 30, 1939, to James “Jim” Pipkin and Catherine “Katie” Winters Pipkin without the benefit of a doctor. The Pipkin family moved to Monticello when Shirley was very young, and that’s where she grew up with her two younger brothers, several cousins and her lifelong friends. She was a member of the 23-person class of 1957 at Monticello High School.
Shirley was an independent woman born before her time. She was a single mother for nearly 7 years and supported her children with two part-time jobs: waitressing and as a night-shift phone operator, when her roommate could tend to her two children. Shirley raced stock cars on a dirt track more than occasionally. This was definitely not the norm in Southeast Utah in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was more than a hobby: she was a very good racer and there was often prize money to extend the small family’s budget.
Shirley married Charles “Lynn” Carter, Jr. on November 15, 1966. They had their youngest child together in August 1970. Her obstetrician (also ahead of his time) insisted that Lynn be in the delivery room for the birth. Shirley was a stay-at-home mom for about 3 years. It took several years, but Lynn also adopted Shirley’s two older children. Shirley returned to waitressing in Moab in 1973 until the family moved to a Denver suburb in 1976.
Shirley was a “bookworm” from a young age. Sometimes she got in trouble for hiding to read a book rather than doing her chores. As a child, she was very much a tomboy. She loved to dance and bowling was a favorite pastime. Shirley was a terrific dancer and bowler. At one point while living in Moab, she was on 2 or 3 ladies’ bowling leagues and a weekly mixed league and was elected secretary for most of them. She and her husband went dancing often until her knee replacement in 2011. In 1977, she took up golf in Thornton, Colorado, and enjoyed it a great deal.
Shirley, her husband Lynn, and their daughter, Wendy, moved to Cascade, Idaho in1984. She began working as a part-time clerk at the Valley County Treasurer’s office and retired as the county’s Chief Deputy Treasurer. Shortly after her retirement, Shirley and Lynn moved back to Moab in 2001.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; her husband and partner of 55 years, Charles “Lynn” Carter, Jr.; her brother, James “Larry” Pipkin; her daughter, Wendy Carter Daniels; and her son, Billy Ray Carter. She is survived by her brother, Fritz Pipkin Sr. (Barbara); her sisters, Patricia “Patty” Stevens (Louis-dec), Donna Tookey (Charles-dec.), Elaine Gilliland (Dwane-dec), Vicki Morris (James), Lynne Peck (William), Jean Willis-Brown (Clay); her brothers, Larry Willis and Robert Willis; her daughter, Jodie Carter Peltz (Steve); her granddaughters, Catherine “Katie” Carter (Brian) and Kerri Kirk (Brandon); her grandson, Eric Peltz; her 5 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
At Shirley’s request, cremation has taken place and a graveside service will be held on Thursday, June 23 at 11 a.m. at the Monticello City Cemetery. The family appreciates flowers or donations to the Alzheimer’s Association (https://atc.alz.org/donate), but attendance at the service or thoughts of Shirley by family and friends is all that is requested. Special thanks to Moab’s Community Nursing Services, Four Corners Regional Care Center and Zions Way Hospice of Blanding, and all those who visited Shirley in the last four months. You may send condolences to the family at www.spanishvalleymortuary.com.
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