Hearts Love 18


Shayla Litster

March 31, 1980 ~ March 10, 2018 (age 37)

Shayla D. Anthony Litster, age 37, died after a courageous and remarkable eight-year battle with cancer on March 10, 2018, in Layton, Utah.

Shayla was born on March 31, 1980 in Cedar City, Utah, to her birth mother Jodi Smith and her adopted parents Hal Everett Anthony and Beverly McGee Anthony. From a small toddler, Shayla was raised by her father Hal and mother Patti. She enjoyed family and loved her brothers and sisters; Scott, Raechal, Jordan, and Tyler.  Shayla graduated in 1998 from Dixie High School in St. George, Utah. After graduation Shayla moved to Logan, Utah where she studied business at Utah State University.  In 2000 while in Logan, Shayla met and married Darren Bruce Nelson.  Shortly afterwards the couple moved to Kent, Washington where Shayla attended and graduated from Highline Community College in Hotel & Business Management. Upon graduation Shayla was employed as an assistant manager at Marriott’s TownePlace Suites and later at Courtyard Marriott. In 2003 Shayla and Darren were blessed with a baby girl, Morghan Derelys whom they named after Shayla’s Grandma Derelys.  While enjoying the hotel business, Shayla delighted family and friends with numerous discounted hotel stays.  Progressing in her career, Shayla accepted a new position as an assistant hotel manager at Hilton Garden Inn, in Seattle where she worked for several years.

When the opportunity came to move back home to St. George, Shayla was quick to respond.  An opening came at a newly built Hilton Garden Inn—she took the job!  Continuing her care for family and career Shayla moved to Layton, Utah working for Hilton Garden Inn, where she met and wed Michael Dean Litster.  Mike and Shayla later had a wonderful baby girl named Edyn Anna Marie Litster.

On May 11, 2010 at the age of 30, Shayla was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Throughout the ordeal, she fought an honorable fight and worked towards remission.

In 2013 Shayla and Mike were blessed with a baby boy, Elijah Asher.  Shortly thereafter, Shayla was re-diagnosed with cancer after breaking her L5 vertebrae; she began a tougher battle to beat the cancer. During this round, the cancer was diagnosed as metastatic and terminal; Shayla’s prognosis was one to two years, but this courageous and determined woman worked to beat the cancer by trying many methods including diets of fruits, vegetables, and juices; eliminating chemicals from her environment; plus, treatments prescribed by her doctors. These methods seemed successful for a while; the tumors seemed to shrink and in some cases, vanish. 

Shortly after the birth of Elijah, Shayla and Mike were given a rare opportunity to accept another baby boy.  Shayla’s brother Scott gave up his son to Shayla and Mike; they were very happy to adopt Ezra. Ezra Dash was the new brother to Elijah—the boys became best friends.

Shayla was forever faithful to family and friends.  She was positive, driven, and determined; her trust and hope exceeded most and certainly extended her life so she could care for and love her children; Shayla was best friends with many people; and was likewise adored by her true and loyal friends.

Shayla faced opposition throughout her life at every turn, yet she remained a humble follower of our Savior, Jesus Christ—she never wavered.  More than anything in life, Shayla wished to be a devoted and loving mother; it was of the greatest importance that her children felt her love and devotion—that they felt security.

In addition to guidance from the Savior and the strength of the Spirit—Shayla felt guided and supported by angels from heaven.  Shayla felt especially guided and strengthened by three special angels—her birth mother Jodi, her adopted mother Beverly, but most of all her Grandma Derelys.  We love you all.

There are very many friends who loved and cherished Shayla.  It’s hard to make a list of those caring souls, but we must mention a few: Korie, Rick, Kathy, and Kim.  These are true friends from the beginning to the end.  Friends like these give us purpose and hope in our lives.  We appreciate more than anything the care from Korie; she opened her home to Shayla, family, and friends and cared for her personally during the last few weeks of her life.  THANK YOU!

Once Darren was thinking about Shayla and thoughts came to his mind how much Shayla reminded him of Harriet Tubman—she was a woman who smuggled hundreds of slaves to the north in the 1800’s and risked her life to help strangers achieve freedom.  I think what she said applies to all of us and the struggles we go through. ‘If you hear the dogs, keep going.  If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.  If there’s shouting after you, keep going.  Don’t ever stop.  Keep going.  If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.’  So, we say to you Shayla— ‘Keep Going.’  You are a guiding light to all of us. We love you.

Shayla is survived by her husband, Michael Dean Litster, of Syracuse, Utah; her daughters Morghan Derelys Nelson and Edyn Anna Marie Litster and her sons Elijah Asher Litster and Ezra Dash Litster, all of Syracuse, Utah; former husband Darren Bruce Nelson; her Father Hal Everett Anthony and step-mother Patricia Ochoa Anthony, of St. George, Utah; brothers and sisters, Scott Everett Anthony, Raechal Anthony Petris, Jordon Anthony Balch, and Tyler McGee Anthony.

Shayla is preceded in death by her birth mother, Jodi Smith and her adopted mother, Beverly McGee Anthony, of Springville, Utah.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the Lakeshore LDS Ward, 1600 South 4500 West, Syracuse, Utah.  Friends may visit family Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.  Interment, Syracuse City Cemetery.

We invite family and friends to attend a luncheon immediately following the graveside service at the Lakeshore Ward building.  We thank the Lakeshore Ward Relief Society sisters for their care and service to Shayla and the luncheon they are kindly preparing.

All are welcome to attend the service and celebrate Shayla D. Anthony Litster’s life!

Flowers can be sent to: Lindquist Mortuary, 1867 N Fairfield Rd., Layton, Utah.  An education fund for Shayla’s children has been created.  You can support her four children’s education fund by donating through: Shayla’s Family Education Fund at gofundme.org.

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