Shirley Ealey
1928 - 2020
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Shan Ealey, born May 21, 1928 in Malta, Montana to parents Ramay Hould and Emily Pierson, died peacefully at home on October 30, 2020 with her daughters around her. She is survived by four children - Kerry, Kim (Scott Samuelson), Mark and Scott - four grandsons, six nieces and nephews, and friends from all over the world. She is predeceased by her parents and older brother Jerry Hould. Born a farmer's daughter in northern Montana, Shirley Ann Marie Patricia Hould - or 'Shan' as she was called - led a more colorful life than these rustic beginnings might suggest.'I didn't have to leave home to see the world,' she liked to say. 'The world came to me.' She meant the host of young men from all walks of life who turned up at her father's door: CCC workers, German prisoners of war and young Japanese men from the nearby internment camp all sent to work her father's farm. She spoke fondly of them and how they opened her eyes to the world beyond Malta. But the world would have to wait while she took her nursing degree at Montana State University in Bozeman and followed her husband, Gordon Dalen an Air Force mechanic, across the country from Nashville, TN, where she gave birth to daughter Kerry, to Savannah, GA, where Kim and Mark were born. Shan could tell harrowing tales of nursing in the segregated Deep South and she advocated tirelessly for the underprivileged, as she preferred to call them. Now with a Masters in Nursing from MSU, she and Dad moved to Farmington, NM, where brother Scott was born at San Juan Regional Hospital and where she worked for the next twenty years. In Farmington she lived an active life full of skiing, boating and camping with her family. Widowed by her second marriage, to Ted Ealey Mom pursued her fortunes overseas. Much of the 80s were devoted to nursing at King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, traveling the Mid-East, Europe, Africa and Asia. 'If only the folks back home could see me now,' she liked to say. After a third marriage didn't take, she moved to Vallecito Lake. Here in her cabin alongside Vallecito Creek Mom found a community of fellow exiles sharing her love of nature and solitude, keeping her grounds impeccably groomed like a true farmer's daughter for the two decades before failing health forced a move into Durango, first to Sunshine Gardens and then to the home of daughter Kim where she lived at the time of her death.

The family would like to thank Mercy Hospice for their help and loving kindness which made it possible to care for mom at home. Sadly, due to Covid restrictions there will be no memorial service. Her remains are to be cremated and returned to Vallecito Lake.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Durango Herald on Nov. 5, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
November 13, 2020
So sorry to hear of Shan’s passing! Our families shared years of activities! I’m sure you have so many fond memories of our years in Farmington! Sending lots of love,
Lynda (Gates) Heublein
Lynda Heublein
November 9, 2020
My condolences to the family of my friend SHAN. She was a friend for many years in both Farmington and Vallecito. May all the family have as many fond memories as I do. God bless you all .....Syl Hampton of Ft Worth, Tx and Vallecito, CO
Sylvia Hampton
Friend
November 7, 2020
Shan was one of my favorite library patrons at Sunshine Gardens! So sweet. I wish I had known all this about her before she died! Sending love and hugs to her fabulous family.
Kevinanne Curmano
November 6, 2020
Shan was like my second Mom back in the 60s. I would have loved to have heard her tell stories of her worldly travels! My heart goes out to Kerry, Kim, Mark and Scott. Virtual hugs to you all.
Peggy Gates-Wieneke
Friend
November 6, 2020
What a beautiful tribute to Shan. My thoughts are with all of you. Aunt Marge
Marge Dalen
November 6, 2020
I see so much of Kim in her mother. Peace and love to your family.
Jill Seyfarth
Friend
November 6, 2020
she was a sweetheart, blessings to the family

Boots Hardy
Friend
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