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Obituary: Shirley Esparza

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Pasted below please find the obituary for Shirley Esparza who will be having services Saturday at 10:00 AM at the Multi-Purpose Room in Ignacio.


Shirley Marie Washington Esparza passed away on May 17, 2016 from a lengthy illness where she was surrounded by family. She was a long-time resident of Ignacio, CO and a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. Shirley was born in Towaoc, Colorado on September 16, 1937 to Pearl Posey and Walter Washington. While living there, she spent time with her Grandmother. She attended the Southern Ute Vocational School where she was a cheerleader and played for the school band. During her senior year, she was voted Indian Princess. Throughout her life, Shirley worked several jobs including: Dorm Matron at the Girl’s Dormitory, Secretary at Health Services, EMT, and Front Desk Clerk at the Sky Ute Casino. She later moved to El Paso, TX, then to Bayfield, CO and back to Ignacio where she spent the remainder of her life. Shirley enjoyed participating in the Bear Dance and Powwows. She supported her sons and other relatives who Sundanced. Shirley was especially proud of her sons who Sundanced by making their beadwork and traditional regalia. Her hobbies included bingo & slots, beadwork, making shawls, crocheting, quilting, sewing, needlework and other crafts. She made each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren a handmade quilt. Shirley enjoyed spending time with her family who she loved very much. She especially enjoyed taking her grandchilden bowling and miniature golfing.

Shirley is preceded in death by her parents and numerous siblings. Shirley is survived by her sister Joyce (Vernon) Frost and brother Stafford (Donna) Washington; her children Venni (Tyner), Carole, Tina (Amelia) Valdez and Dayna Esparza, Sylvian (Trish), Sherman and Bruce Valdez; grandchildren Claressa, Juliya, Sherisa, Hailey, Angela Rose, Miracle, Raymond, Isiah, Tony and Kobe; Great grandchildren, numberous nieces, nephews, and extended family.

A Rosary will take place at St. Ignatius Catholic Church on Friday, May 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm. A Funeral Service will be held at the Southern Ute Multi-Purpose Facility Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 10:00 am followed by interment at the Ouray Cemetery.


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