Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have been thinking for several weeks what I was going to write if and when this time would come. It has not helped to think about it. Shelley my best friend for over 25 years passed away peacefully with family and friends by her side at 6:15pm Wednesday November 26 2008. We met in October 1982. I must admit I was so attracted to her the first time we met. I didn't even have the courage to ask her out. I found out later that she had seen me singing in a church function and turned to the person next to her and said "I am going to marry that guy". She was in charge of a young single adult outing to the snow. At church she asked me if I would be interested in going snow skiing. I said sure what time. When I showed up at 4am that Saturday it was only me and Shelley. I have for over 25 years given her a hard time about that, but the truth is she was so embarrassed. I think it was one of those supposed to happen kind of things. We talked all the way up to Sunrise Ski Resort and I knew before we got there that I wanted to spend eternity with her. We were married 4 months later. When you know, why wait. Our life together has been one of those fantastic rides. She has been a great friend, wife, mother, teacher, money bugeteer, handy women, wanting to please everyone, giver, companion, confidant and many many more. I could tell Shelley anything. It didn't mean she wouldn't get mad at me for the bone headed things that I had done but she had a way to always make me feel good afterwards. This last week has been hard to watch. Everyday she would get worse and worse. I had been wondering what it was that was keeping her here because she was in so much pain. Shelley called for me on Friday night and when I got to her side she asked me to tell her that I loved her which I promptly did. She told me that she loved me and named all of the children and said she loved them also. She then said that she would see me in 30 to 40 years. She then kissed me and would not let me go. We both just cried. The next day she told me that she thought she was going to die that night because she saw many people in our room looking ready to help her to the other side. By Sunday night she had suffered several strokes and was unable to talk. When I came in at 11pm she woke up and I let her know that everything was ready for her to go, all she could do was put up her hand in the OK sign. So here I am its 12:30 am Thursday morning can't sleep and all the kids are in bed, I wish that I knew what she was doing. For 25 years we have done everything together and have always known what the other was doing. This I see will probably be the hardest thing for me. I love and miss her already. We have not put together the dates and times of the funeral but below is what I will be putting in the paper. I am leaning toward a viewing Monday night and the funeral Tuesday morning. If any of you have a special memory of Shelley please don't hesitate to post a comment because I think that someday it will be nice for our younger children to read. Thank you all so much for the things that have been done for Shelley and our family, I have been truly humbled.

After a short but courageous battle with cancer Shelley Marie Conway was called home on November 26, 2008. Born May 15, 1961, Shelley a native to Arizona was named Shelley M. Shelley and nicknamed Shelley Squared. She graduated from LDS business college in Salt Lake City and moved back to where the whether is always warm, Arizona. After returning she married her eternal companion and started to raise a family. She raised 8 children and one husband. Even though a full time mother she always made time to help and be involved with serving others i.e. church, school, sports, politics, and scouting. She knew by serving others she was serving God which fulfilled her life in every way. Shelley is survived by her husband and best friend Michael, her first daughter Britney, sons Taylor, Gannon, Colter, Lincoln, Prescott, Briggs, and last daughter Zaida Coleen. Her father Eldon Shelley of Mesa Arizona. Brothers Robert Shelley of Gilbert Arizona and Richard Shelley of Delta, Utah, sisters Lyn Bracken of Layton, Utah and Eldona Stevens of Santa Rosa, California. She is also survived by over 100 nephew and nieces not counting the many aunts uncles and cousins. A viewing will be held at Buelers mortuary Dec 2, between ? and ?. Funeral services will be Dec 3 at ?am located at the San Tan Stake Center on Ranch House Drive inside Power Ranch


Debbie said...

Bless your hearts. I was thinking, how sad to have your wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter die the eve before Thanksgiving when it occurred to me. How thankful you must all be to have had this woman (that I never had the pleaure to meet) in all your lives! And its such a bonus to know that she is now with Heavenly Father for the rest of time. Someday you will all be there with her. Thanks to God that great person came into your life. We don't know each other; I just happened on to this blog but we will pray to Heavenly Father that there is a blessing in her passing which I am sure there must be. Love and prayers to you all.

Kristi said...

I'm so sorry you have lost your best friend and soul mate. This is a sad, sad day for you and your family, and all of us who knew and loved Shelley. Thank you so much for sharing Shelley with us the past couple months. It was truly an act of love for you to keep us posted on Shelley's situation. For those of us who couldn't be there with her and for her, it has been much appreciated. I'm so glad Shelley asked you to go skiing that day in October 1982...she couldn't have made a better choice for her BFF (and life-partner)! Shelley always did have a way of turning a bad situation into a good one, and it always ended with her laughter!! She had an easy, playful laugh that will forever play in my mind when I think of her. I hope it's one of the things that brings you comfort as you and your kids go through this difficult time. I wish you peace.
kristi kilger pulliam

Life of Emma said...

Hello Mike,
This is Emma and Scott Clark.
Our prayers are with you and your family during this time.
Remember when we would sometimes see you and Shelley on your date nights? We would comment that you both seemed very much "in love" even after 2 decades.
One of the many reasons why I (Emma) joined the church is the knowledge that I would see my loved ones again. What a great comfort it is to know that. When we think of Shelley, we will always remember her smile. Your children are beautiful. Thank you for keeping us updated.
Again, you are in our prayers.

Sandy said...

I am truly blessed for having you as a brother. Your courage and love and faith during this time has lifted me up and helped strenghten my testimony. Your love for Shelley over the years is evident to all. When Briggs and Coleen were in my Preschool Shelley was one of my most supportive mothers. I always admired her cheerfulness and her smile and most of all her laugh! Now she has brought that laughter to heaven. In the Ensign I read,
"Heaven neer seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that "angelic" is the only word that comes to mind". Shelley was and is "angelic". I pray for you and your children everyday and will continue to do so. Please know that you have a sister and aunt who love you. I am so grateful on this Thanksgiving Day to KNOW that we will see Shelley again! Love eternally, Sandra

Rodger and Mary said...

Conway family
We are so sad for your loss, but grateful, Shelley feels no more pain.please know you are in our prayers.
I didn't know Shelley well , but one night she answered a mothers prayer. Our daughter Chelsi cheeered for Higley and one time going to a game her car broke down, here she is in her uniform and stuck at a circle K . Shelley offered her a ride to the game . Chelsi was grateful and I as a mom was grateful. prayers are answered in behalf of keeping our kids safe and that day Shelley was the angel helping Heavenly Father answer that prayer.
Thinking of you and praying .....
Rodger,Mary, Chelsi ,Colin, Aidan , Ainslee, and Ryden Adair

Randall Bunch said...

Dear Conway Family
We are so grateful to have known Shelley and your whole family. You have influenced our family and we are grateful for that. Shelley was a wonderful person who would do anything for anyone. She always had a smile on her face and she never complained. I have many special memories of her living on Mayberry Ct. She loved her family so much. She also loved the gospel. Heavenly Father is mindful of your family at this time and I know that he will bless you. I am thankful on this Thanksgiving Day to feel of his love and know that we will again be with our loved ones who have passed on before us. Mike, you are an amazing person and thank you so much for sharing these tender times with us. We are always here for your family.
We love you
The Randall Family
Shane, Becky, Shelby, Conner, Kara, Carson, & Mallory.

Carey said...

My heart is aching for your family today. Ironically, when I woke up this morning... my first thoughts as I lay in bed turned to your family and what your Thanksgiving would be like today. When I came out of my room, Todd shared with me the very sad news of Shelley's passing.
I want you to know how touched my life has been by Shelley's example of love, service and courage. I only was able to attend Relief Society one of the Sunday's she taught. Her lesson that day was on the Plan of Salvation by Joseph Smith. This is profound to me. I remember a discussion we had that day about how despite our knowledge of the struggles we would face here on earth, we shouted for joy at the opportunity to come and experience life! What a tender memory of this dear woman! I also remember a few months ago... she spoke at enrichment on unity in marriage. Mike, she loved... correction... loves you so much. She spoke of supporting each other especially when things are difficult. She testified of the importance of looking for things in your companion to be thankful for. Both of you are a tremendous example of these principles.
As today is Thanksgiving... I have to thank my Father for the privilege and blessing of having known and associated with Shelley over these last years. What a precious gift! Please know of my family's love, concern and prayers for you and yours. You are most precious in His sight! May His peace and comfort rest over your home especially now and continue on during the coming days, months and years. You are loved...

1-4-Freedom said...

Heartfelt condolences from a long-lost cousing in Alaska. Shelley is my 1st cousin. We used to play when my mother would take us to Joseph City, AZ, to visit her family. Though I haven't seen her in decades, and haven't met you or the children, I mourn with you at her loss. I can't imagine the heart ache and pain at the loss of your wife/lover/best freind. Even from remote Alaska I have been uniting my prayers with yours and others for Shelley and your family. May God continue to be with you, to comfort you and your family, and to give you strength.

John Devenport

mark said...

Dear Mike and Family:
I will always be proud of and grateful for my cousin Shelley Marie. She was always fun to be around and she exemplified the love and commitment that her parents and grandparents instilled in her. She was and is great because of her belief in Christ and in his atonement. She is one of the good people of this world that while not perfect, she kept trying and was willing to make sacrifices to serve others. I will always cherish the times we had together and the times that we had together with the rest of the class of 79.

I can speak for all of our class that we loved her and respected her for the life that she built with you. Shelley, as well as Dean Morris, Alisa Westover, and Ted Jordan, are all fondly remembered and loved for the goodness of their lives and their contribution to our younger years. We were all friends and were all, everyone of us, in love with Shelley Marie.

Emmy Garcia said...

I love you all so much, you are a family to me and I thank you for that. I am filled with sorrow, and although I may not have the luxury of understanding why something like this had to happen to such a wonderful woman, it makes me happier knowing how profound your beliefs are that you will indeed see Shelly again. Every one of you is always in my thoughts.
As for a happy memory, above all, her smile. She had the most contagious smile I have ever seen, with her sparkling teeth and the most sincere eyes. Regardless of what mood I was in, her smile always managed to stretch one over my face.
My entire family sends their love.


Jan said...

A day of thanks giving. We are all thankful for having known and shared time with Shelley, we are all thankful that we will spend time with her again. We are all thankful for the wonderful example she was for all of us, we are all thankful that we can learn from her example and continue her good works by serving others as she did. We are all thankful for the memories. We are all thankful that Shelley's pain is gone.

Anonymous said...


I remember being at your place about 2 or 3 years ago for New Years. Aunt Shelley asked me about girls in my life and I told her there really weren't any. But, I did mention one girl I had loved very much but that that girl got engaged and, at the time, still hadn't married the guy after about a year and a half of engagement. I wanted very much to have the opportunity to date and court that young lady. I told Shelley that I hadn't contacted her in about a year. Shelley told me/demanded that I write the girl and ask her if she was really gonna marry the guy, and if not, that I'd like to take her out. That way, I would know for sure and would never have to wonder about the "What if". For me it was a big deal, so I'd put it off. With Shelley's encouragement, I wrote the girl. Nothing really came of it but it felt good to do it and not have to wonder.
I appreciate Shelley's words of encouragement. She was a good Aunt and good friend. Always good to me. Always good to us Stevens'. We love her and will miss her dearly.


Tyson Stevens

Mel said...

Uncle Mike,

You and Aunt Shelley have and always will be an example to me. What strength and courage and faith you have shown in such hard times. I am thankful for a knowledge that you will be an eternal family. I know that you will be blessed and that Aunt Shelley is with our Father in Heaven. I love you all and you have been and will continue to be in my prayers. Love always
Dean Corona

MDR said...

When we heard the news last night it was hard to believe that Shelley was gone. It wasn't real to us until we woke up on Thanksgiving more. Dan said he had a dream about her and she was telling him of all the things that he should be grateful for. To focus on the positives and not the negatives. Since we visited a week ago, Dan has been having a hard time sleeping. He was certain Shelley wouldn't remember him since it has been so long since she saw him last. But she not only remembered him, she made him feel ... I am not sure how to explain it. It just made it more unreal that he would be losing his aunt. Shelley gave us a wonderful gift that night, she set an example and show us all what courage, love, and faith she has. Michael... the love that the two of you have together is amazing. It is a testiment to us all that marriages can work in an age when people see such unions as temporary. We love you both so much and are heartbroken at her passing. You all will continue to be in our prayers and we will find comfort in knowing we will see her again one day.

Misty and Dan Poland

Jenna Winters said...

I consider Shelley the ideal mother figure. She has always been amazing in my eyes. Watching your family in church every sunday taking up a whole row and seeing how you Mike and Shelley would tend to each of your children to whatever their needs were was something I will never forget. I could see the love that all the children have for her and how they constantly fought over who was going to sit by her. I love your family and although it is going to be hard having such a wonderful mother and wife pass on, she is needed in our Father's kingdom.

I feel lucky to not have had my baby yet because she was probably waiting for a hug from shelley before she came. It will always be special for me to know that my daughter who will be here soon also knows shelley and maybe shelley gave her some pointers before arriving here on earth :)

The Haggartons said...

Dear Mike and family,
There are no words to express what we are feeling in our hearts today. We love you all so much, and our hearts are breaking.
Shelley has made the world a better place, her influence on and love for others will continue to live on for generations. We are thankful to have known Shelley, and to have benefited from her wisdom and strength. What a wonderful example of womanhood she has been in so many ways and to so many people.
We will continue to pray for your family as we have been. You are an incredible family.
Dwight and Shelly Haggarton

Anonymous said...

Dear Conway Family,
Words cannot express what we are feeling today. We just want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and if there is anything that we can do for you, PLEASE do not hesitate. You are surrounded by many people that love you and we know that you must have plenty of help, but know that we are here for you as well.
Mike, through such a huge loss I am sure that you are comforted by the fact that Shelly led such a righteous life and left such a beautiful legacy behind. She has accomplished so much in her short time here on earth and there is no doubt she is with our Father and continuing his work, free of pain. What a beautiful spirit she has, she is so loved! Thank you for sharing her life with us and allowing us to get to know her through this blog.
The Speroni Family

Jeanette said...

My heart hurts. I am so sorry for your loss. I keep thinking about when we came for a visit in March and Shelley and I stood at the back of the chapel after church and visited. She was so easy to talk to and had (has) such and amazing spirit.

She reached out to me when you moved to the neighborhood and encouraged Colter to befriend Landon from the beginning (even before you moved into your house) which has really blessed his life.

I loved having her as my visiting teacher for a time and enjoyed our talks about how we were both very laid back in our parenting when it came to the little things like bedtime and such, but not in our teachings of the important things like our love of the Savior and his gospel plan.
I know that she taught her children well it is evident in the lives they are living now.
Our prayers will continue to be with you that you might all be blessed with our Savior's peace and strength.
Jeanette Shumway and family

Karley said...

Dear Michael,
I am really not sure where I will start with this. The day that Shelley called to invite me to go with her family to Disneyland changed the rest of my life. This kind person that had no idea who I really was. I had met Gannon at EFY a couple of weeks before. She knew that Gannon and I had talked to each other a lot. She knew how important it was to Gannon to have me come. I knew right then Shelley was a special kind of mom. That trip was one of several that I was invited on with the Conway family, and loved every second of every trip. I learned a lot about Shelley and the great mom that she was. Her kindness, her gental smile, her ability to make everyone feel welcome. I considered her a great friend. She was never too busy to talk if I needed someone. When I would travel to AZ, she would make all of the friends feel welcome and she acted as though they all belonged to her. I will never forget all of the late night laughs that we had. She made me feel as though I had a second mom in AZ. I am so lucky that I had the opportunity to meet shelley and just be around her. I am also grateful for the conway family for letting me be apart of their lives. Even though It was only a short time that I spent with shelley, I will forever cherish the memories I have had with her. I will never forget the last time I saw her, she gave me the biggest hug and told me that she loved me. Michael, I know that your heart is hurting this day. I want you to know how much I love you and your family. Thank you again for all that you did for me. I hope that one day I can be half the wife, mom, and friend she was to everyone. I am so grateful for the knowledge we have that families can be together forever. I know Heavenly father will take care of you and your family through this hard time. Shelley will always be watching over you. I love you all, my prayers will always be with you.
Karley Snow

Paula said...

Dear Conway Family,

I am so sorry to hear about Shelley's passing, but so grateful that she is no longer suffering. I know that that amazing smile is again gracing her beautiful face and is lighting up her Father's kingdom. I can almost picture her mom waiting with open arms to envelope her in a mother's love. Shelley is and has always been one of my truest and best friends, my confidant, my mentor and one of the only people who truly shared my sense of humor! Her amazing family and their shining,solid testimonies of the Lord's gospel are her truest and best work. I know Heavenly Father is well pleased with her life and I am eternally grateful to have had her in my life for so long.Shelley, I love you, my friend and will be there for your family always. Goodbye and thank you til we meet again!
All my love,
Paula (Hatch) Gardner

Jen said...

Mike and family,

I can't adequately express my feelings that Shelley is gone. In my mind, she was such a Wonder Woman yet she was fine letting people see her (very few) flaws too.

I remember your wedding, Mike. I was so honored to wear a little flowered dress and be able to hold the back of Shelley's wedding gown. I thought she was a princess, marrying her prince.

Her smile, warmth and laugh were something that drew people to her. And her kindness -- I am forever in debt to her for her great kindness.

This past year, she began emailing me. With recent news of my son's illness, I was very depressed. It was a time when I needed to know someone cared and like an answer to prayers, Shelley was there.

Her emails lifted my spirit and helped me through a very tough time. Through chatting, catching, up and a from bit of her wisdom, I felt some of the weight lift off my shoulders.

She really was light in the dark to me. Now I think of her on the other side, watching over you, her family. Her light still shines.

With all my love,

Jennifer Shelley Hale

Aussie Sue said...

WOW! After reading all the comments, I feel so thankful to have been able to spend some time with Shelley in the past weeks. Your family is amazing! Yes, Shelley gets most of the credit for that, but she has left a legacy of strong, self-reliant and shining examples to follow in her footsteps. I, like many others, won't forget her laugh, words of wisdom and motivating energy, as well as her contagious smile, always turning the day around. She had time for everyone else it seems, as well as keeping her family together. I know she is still here, and I know that she is pain free. I know that the Savior is comforting her as well as those she left behind - I feel it so strong. I know this is going to be a hard journey for your family and many friends, but remember that she will always be but a prayer away. You guys have such a beautiful love story that should be cherished and no doubt will be an inspiration to your wonderful children. I pray for you all through this difficult trial. Please know that we are here for you and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.♥♥

Vonda said...

Mike and Conway Kids - When I think of Shelley, always the first thing I think of is the smile. I love seeing that she passed that same smile on to her children. Secondly is her compasion. Once while I was struggling with an illness I saw her at Target and we hadnt seen each other in about a year and we started talking and about an hour later she had filled me full of hope and good information. I wont forget how she gave of her time (even with two little ones wanting to leave) to help and listen to me. Her biggest legacy is her children and she couldnt have done better in bringing the world 8 strong, righteous and thoughtful people to better the world. I would only hope to go to my Heavenly Father knowing I did exactly what he sent me here to do. I love Shelley and am grateful to have known her.
Vonda (Hatch) Guttery

Sassy said...

Dear Conway family,
Our dear friends Mark and Jill Ballif just stopped by our home and told me about Shelley...I was shocked and so saddened for your family...I grew up in Holbrook and knew their family, Eldonna and Reed who I wrote to while on his mission, This seriously breaks my heart for all of you. You have had a lot asked of you to bear and I am so very thankful for the gospel and the comforting spirit. She truly had a smile that brightens a room and the last time I saw her at Ballif's was such a joy for reconnect after all these years. Please know that you will be in our hearts and prayers. Love, Kayola Mc Laws Skinner

Lemmon Heads said...

My memories of Shelley come from babysitting your great kids. She always paid me great! Shelley was such a kind person. I don't remember ever hearing her complain or get upset when you'd come home and the kids weren't in bed or the house wasn't as clean as when you left. I'm grateful to have known her and pray that your family will find comfort from the Lord for many years to come.
alyssa meryhew lemmon

arizonasnow7 said...


Shelley and your sweet family have been in our prayers ever since we first heard the horrifying news of her cancer. We are so sorry there was no miracle to save her from the inevitable, but we -- at least those of us just on the outside of your inner circle of family and friends -- appreciate the gracious way you have faithfully stood strong for Shelley and your kids while simultaneously carrying a burden known only to those of you whom the Lord could trust with such loss. Thank you for sharing this blog with us so we who didn't dare impose or intrude on your privacy could still stay as close to the situation as possible. May God bless you Michael, Britney, Taylor, Gannon, Colter, Lincoln, Prescott, Briggs, and Zaida Coleen.

With love,
Steven, Shellie, Piper, Bricklin, Jace, Christian and Sawyer Snow

Malisa said...

Dear Michael & Family,
I wasn't going to write on the blog because I'm not much of a writer and my feelings for Shell run so deep they are hard to express. However, I've decided I need to publicly express my love for Shelley and for you. Shelley, as you know has been my dearest friend for my whole life. I can't even remember when we started being friends because I think we were toddlers. We grew up together every step of the way. I never had a sister, but she filled that void in my life. Over the years we have laughed and cried, struggled and celebrated - but mostly shared a lot of love. My heart aches and I miss her so. I am so grateful for her presence in my life. I pray your family may be comforted and strenghtened. I know she will be ever near. Much love to you all.
Terrie (Rogers) Farnes

Lisa said...

Conway Family,
My heart is sadden for the loss of your sweet wife, mother, sister and daughter. Shelley was such a inspiritional individual. I grew up with her in my home town I was younger but I will always remember her, my first year of girls camp I was her secret sister and the love she showed me while there. Shelley always had compassion and love to give all her family and friends. Mike, you and Shelley have a beautiful family. What a comfort it is to know that Shelley is watching over you. It is wonderful that we all know that we can return to our Father in Heaven and be an eternal family. May my prayers be with you and your family.. Lisa(Hatch)Larson

Karen said...

One of the funniest things I can remember happening is one time when I went visiting teaching across the street from your house and as my partner and I rang the doorbell, a HUGE geko dropped down from up at the top of the door. We both screamed and jumped out of the way. Shelly was watching from your window and had a good laugh, wondering what in the world was going on. Well the geko scurried inside and went up into their couch. We couldn't get it out and after much scream and jumping, we called over and she sent Mike over to rescue us. It was pretty funny that he thought that we were making a big deal out of a little thing but when Mike saw the geko he was pretty freaked out himself. We finally got it out but had a good laugh over it! We sure will miss Shelly and are so glad that we have the opportunity to be associated with your amazing family! Our prayers and thougths are with you. We love you!
Love Karen, Spencer, Brad, Shannon, Michelle, Rachel and Jenna Kendall

Karen said...

k, I thought of anothe memory. I remember our first week in Coronado ward and seeing your family all in a row. I think Colene was just a new baby and I remember thinking, wow, they have 8 kids, just like my family growing up. She must be an amazing woman, like my mom. and sure enough, as I got to know shelly, I was right! Brad had a blast at winter formal this past weekend and when he brought the pictures home, I was just laughing at their crazy outfits bought at savers. When I saw colter's I could just hear Shelly laughing and saying, "oh, this is just great!" So glad Brad has great friends! Karen Kendall

Shelley & Scott said...

Mike and Conway Family,

You will not remember me but once about 23 or 24 years ago when Brittany was just a baby you and Shelley lived down the street from me and my family and Shelley was my beehive teacher. I have just learned of her passing from another of her young women at the time. I have such fond memories of that time in my life and I remember being excited to babysit Brittany. Although I don't remember any specific lessons I remember always going down the street and feeling so welcome in your home and how happy you both were all the time. It's always hard for us to comprehend the Lord's will in times like these but we know that he has a plan and it sounds like she left a wonderful legacy behind for each of you. May you be blessed with comfort during this difficult time. Shelley Morris Howard