Shirley Priest Ballentine
passed away peacefully at the age of 77 with two of her children by her side on November 26, 2021, in Chandler, Arizona. Shirley was born on June 27, 1944, sharing a birthday with her sister, great-nephew, and granddaughter. She was born and raised in Burton, Michigan, and spent weekends with her family in Tawas, Michigan. She grew up with two sisters, Dee Sturk and Linda Youpee, and graduated from Bendle High School in 1962. Shirley married and moved to Clio, Michigan where she managed a team with Home Interiors and was very involved with her kid’s activities. She volunteered with the Clio Band Boosters for 8 years, owned and operated Country Charm in Downtown Clio, started the Chamber of Commerce in Clio, and was an avid volunteer in the community.
She was a loving mother and is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Stacie and Mike French, her son Bryan Ballentine, both of Phoenix, Arizona, and her sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Cary Youpee of Helena, Montana. She had 5 grandchildren – Jessica, Brittany, Kala, Joshua, and Sarah, and 7 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her daughter Yvonne Miller, and her sister and brother-in-law Deanna and Jerry Sturk. She continued the tradition of weekends in Tawas with her children as they were growing up. They fished, went garage-sailing, and spent a lot of time with family. Shirley was an enthusiast for roller coasters and amusement parks and just having fun in life. Shirley went back to college at 40 years old to receive her paralegal degree and retired from the City of Scottsdale where she enjoyed her career as a paralegal.
She was known as a giver and a lover of music, which she passed on to her children. She played the trumpet in high school and piano later with her kids. She was a huge fan of the Phoenix Suns Basketball team, always keeping score on her homemade scorecards. Shirley volunteered at the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix for 10+ years. She also demonstrated how important it was to help others. Shirley enjoyed taking her grandchildren on weekend trips several times a year to unique places around the state of Arizona. She had a love for movies and always took an interest in her family’s passions. Every year it was tradition for Shirley to take her grandchildren to see the Nutcracker Ballet, 25+ years, and was known for the Christmas ornaments she gifted her family each year. She will always be remembered and missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her.
There will be a memorial service in Shirley’s honor the last weekend of January at her daughter’s home in Chandler, Arizona.