Shirley Anne Christensen Oswald, 84, of American Fork, passed away from complications of diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease on January 10, 2020. She was born December 24, 1935 in Price, Utah, the daughter of Leland Eugene and Mildred Johnson Christensen.
She married Leslie Oswald, Jr. and they later divorced. She raised four boys as a single mother. She worked as a civilian finance employee of the US Department of Agriculture and of the Department of Defense. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Shirley was graceful and dignified in all that she did. She was always a lady and loved feminine rose designs. She enjoyed sewing. She collected figurines her whole life and especially enjoyed those from her trip to Europe. She was competitive when playing Canasta and made it a family tradition.
She is survived by her brothers: Don (Diana) Christensen of Spanish Springs, NV, and Stan (Linda) Christensen of Penn Valley, CA; her children: Les (Kitty) Oswald of American Fork, UT, Larry (Trish) Oswald of Rio Rancho, NM, Lindsay (Shannon) Oswald of Cedar Valley, UT, and Lon Oswald of Springville, UT; 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Gerald Eugene Christensen.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM in the Anderson & Sons Mortuary Chapel, 49 East 100 North, American Fork. A viewing will be held from 9:45-10:45 AM prior to the services. Burial will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Please share a memory at andersonmortuary.com. Donate to end Alzheimer’s at https://alz.org/.
Tributes from some of her grandchildren:
“Seeing my grandma slowly leave us hurt so much, but today when I saw her just an hour after she passed I felt the most calming, protected, and safe feeling that I just can’t describe. I didn’t burst into tears and fall to the floor like I did when I got the call. I just looked at her, her soft face, her silver snow hair, her beautiful olive skin. She looks like she went home safe and comfortably.
Her hair is so soft I envy her for it. Untouched by bleach or dye. Clean, new, fresh. Just like she is now. She’s free, she’s not in pain she’s most likely dancing with her late boyfriend Jerry and NOT having to take insulin or needing her finger pricked multiple times a day. That is real freedom. No more forgetting, not knowing, not remembering. No more. She knows who she’s with she knows we were here and we are here. We will always be here for her.
I hope she remembers my talks with her, she thought I was her long lost granddaughter no one told her about. It cracked me up every time. I hope she remembers my wedding that she thought was so beautiful it had to be a movie set. I hope she remembers me telling her I was pregnant with a beautiful healthy baby boy. I hope she remembers me telling her his name. I hope she remembers she is and was so so loved even though she thought her true self was gone. I LOVE YOU SHIRLEY ANNE. I’m so happy I can say I was named after you ❤️ it’s a beautiful day in heaven today. I hope you get all the chocolates and cherry Pepsi your heart desires.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. Love~your little Kylie Anne❤️❤️” –Kylie Roxburgh
“If there was one word I'd to use to describe her, it would be 'elegant'. My grandma was a lady. Her house was full of beautiful china and fashionable furniture. You were almost afraid to touch anything because you didn't want to break it.
She was a strong woman who loved her sons immensely, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren just as fiercely. Even though she lived in California for most of my life, she always made sure we got a card and some spending money every birthday, without fail.
She was a Christmas Eve baby, and loved it. After she moved to Utah a few years ago, we would go over to her house to visit every year. She shared her Cherry Pepsi with us, and loved the chocolates we always brought. It was so cute to see how excited she'd get. She may have been a diabetic, but she loved her sweets.
She was a mean canasta player, and I don't think my uncles won very many games. I always wanted to learn how to play, but I was worried I'd lose. ;)
An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, her faith was unfailing and inspiring. She knew what awaited her in the next life, and she was not afraid.
I miss her so much, and not having her here with us is going to hurt, but I know that she is safe and healthy and happy. No longer experiencing the frailties of old age, the trials of diabetes, or the memory loss of Alzheimer's disease. She remembers everything, and knows who she is, who we are, and how loved she was, and is.
I look forward to when I will see her again, and I am going to live a life that makes her proud. I love you Grandma. ❤️” –Brenna Oswald
“Grandma Shirley graduated from this life today [January 10]. One of the icons I think of when I think of her is Rosie The Riveter. Grandma was strong as they come, but with all the grace in the world. She took care of business, and she did it with class. We’ll all miss her, and I am grateful for the influence she has been in my life.” –Kristin Calquín
“My Grandma Shirley died today.
Shirley Anne Oswald
She was born on Christmas Eve. When my daughter, Ellie, was born on Christmas Eve, we gave her “Shirley” as a middle name to honor that rare bond. My Grandma Shirley was old, and had suffered from Alzheimer’s, but she was the pinnacle of feminine power. She was strong and assertive. She raised four boys (my dad included). She was intelligent and stoic. When I was a child, we would bond over our love of cinema. I called her “Block Buster Grandma” (a double reference to the movie rental store and how awesome she was). She always praised my art, even when I was a child, and was a big reason I continued doing it. She would critique my work when I was young, giving me advice and suggestions without being condescending, which isn’t easy when dealing with an 8-year-old mischievous boy like me. I remember playing the Oswald family card game, Canasta, and seeing sides of her that only came out when she would play. I remember when she lived with my parents and we would have Sunday dinners... I remember her telling her first “that’s what she said” joke at a particularly rowdy Sunday dinner and stunning everyone.
I was raised to respect women, but if any woman could be called noble, it would be her. She was more than many gave her credit for but was completely self sufficient.
The world lost a seriously powerful energy today, but now she can move on to the next step. May her mind be free from mortal restrictions and she be welcomed to the other side by family and friends... And may she have the sweetest movie theater in all of the afterlife.
I love you, Grandma.” –Greg Oswald