Shirley Jean Rowe was born on September 20th, 1936, in Fort Worth Texas. She was the first child of William and Mary White. She was also the first grandchild in the family. She would often tell of how spoiled she was by her grandparents and relatives because there was no one else to share the attention with. According to her mother, being spoiled never turned her rotten though as she received one spanking in her life and didn’t even deserve that one. Her younger years were spent in Fort Worth Texas. Attending school and church with her family. She was an excellent student and always received A’s on her report cards.
In 1949, when Shirley was 13, many members of the White family moved to Grand Junction to open the D&RGW restaurant. She and her family lived and worked right by the railroad. As a teen she would fill in for the restaurant where help was needed. She enjoyed the chocolate malt shakes that were perks of the job. The family attended the First Assembly of God church. She was also involved with the Christ’s Ambassadors youth group. They spent many hours helping those in the church and the community. She was always busy with events, with her many friends, or at Grand Junction High School.
She went out on dates but didn’t settle on anyone until her Senior year in high school when Paul Rowe won her undivided attention. She graduated in 1955 and went to work for the First National bank in downtown Grand Junction. This began a lifelong career in the banking industry. In 1956 she and Paul were married and started their life together. A few years later Paul was drafted into the Army and was assigned to the Presidio base in San Francisco, California. After being there a short time, they learned their family would be growing and soon welcomed their first child, Terry. When discharged from the Army they went back home to Grand Junction. They spent short stents living in Uravan, CO, Farmington, NM and Durango CO. It was in Durango that they welcomed their second child, Stephanie, into the family. Approximately two years later they moved back to Grand Junction and Shirley went to work for United Bank. She enjoyed her work and made many friends that she still had lunch with frequently. After United Bank, she worked for Mesa National Bank and American National Bank, eventually retiring from American National Bank. Banking was a career she excelled in and enjoyed. Even when she was a penny off she would figure it out and everything would balance.
She attended church regularly throughout her life. From an early age she had committed her life to Jesus and tried to pass on her love of the Lord to those around her. Her home church was The Rock which she and her husband helped in its formative years. In her quiet way she went about making friends and loving others. Her family received most of her care and attention. She always had her camera out taking pictures of her family. She enjoyed a house full of her loved ones or a picnic out in the mountains. Camping and fishing or just driving through the beautiful Colorado scenery was heaven for the girl from Texas. Lately this life was becoming more difficult for her as she was dealing with several physical issues.
On January 3rd, 2024, Shirley passed from this life into her saviors’ arms. She was preceded in death by her mother, father, and husband. She is survived by her sister Helen White, son, Terry (Karen) Rowe, her daughter, Stephanie (Mike) Bridgewater, 13 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. A Celebration of Life service will be held at The Rock church on the 15th of January at 10:00 am.