Cover photo for Shirley Neal's Obituary
Shirley Neal Profile Photo
1930 Shirley 2024

Shirley Neal

December 21, 1930 — February 5, 2024


Gilbert, Arizona - Our beloved Mother, Shirley Staples Neal, passed away on February 5th, 2024. She was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Pauline Robinson Staples and Alfred John Staples. She is survived by one brother, Alfred (AJ) Staples (Pat) who resides in California. Her parents and one brother, Earl Staples, preceded her in death.  Shirley grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and Dallas, Texas with her family prior to moving to Salt Lake City in 1947. She attended the Barstow Girls School in Kansas City before continuing her education at East High School, Salt Lake City, and the University of Utah. She married Leon Monroe Neal (“Bud”, literally the “boy next door”) in Salt Lake City on December 16, 1950, and created a wonderful life with him until his death in 2005. Leon and Shirley had four children and lived most of their married life in Ogden. She attended First Presbyterian Church in Ogden. She relocated to Arizona in 2006 to be near three of her four children and to escape Utah’s winter weather. She loved the warm desert sunshine.


Shirley was a dedicated and loving mother and wife. She was active at the Ogden Golf and Country Club, and Weber Club in Ogden. As the wife of an Ogden physician she was active in the Weber County Medical Association Auxiliary and the Women’s Auxiliary for the Utah Medical Association where she held several key positions including State Chair for several years. Shirley was an active member for over 50 years of the philanthropic women’s organization, PEO, and served as Chapter F chairperson and State President. Shirley was very involved in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority Mother’s Club at the University of Utah. She loved to entertain at her home in Ogden and hosted many family and friends over the years during the holidays, and especially Thanksgiving, which was her favorite. She enjoyed playing golf with friends, and was a pretty good bowler at her Wednesday night bowling league at Hilltop Lanes. Shirley loved to play bridge with her monthly bridge club. 


Shirley embraced the social life and her adept social skills were legend. She loved to entertain, her home was a gathering place. Even her kids’ teenage friends enjoyed spending time with her. Shirley had solid mid-west values. She taught her kids to have manners and set high expectations for them. She was always giving of her time and attention. Along with our Dad, she spent many younger years traveling on their boat in the San Juan Islands of British Columbia, on Lake Powell in southern Utah, and flying with Dad in his airplane. She was his brave copilot. She enjoyed many happy years at the summer house in Island Park, Idaho, and was always waiting for her kids enthusiastically when they returned from fly fishing. She enjoyed traveling to visit her kids and grandkids all over the country, and she and our Dad went on many a Mediterranean cruise and European vacation. In later years she enjoyed the desert life with Dad in their home in Palm Desert, California, and in Sun Lakes, Arizona.


She will be deeply missed by her children; LeeAnn Russell (Rick), John Neal (Deborah), Jim Neal, Mike Neal (Emma), her 10 grandchildren; Lisa Buske (John), Rob Fratto, Allie Russell, Page Frey (Jordan), Cara Neal, Jack Neal, Breck Neal, Chelsie Neal, Ryan Carter (Elizandra), Matthew Neal, McKenna Neal, and 8 great-grandchildren.


Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the American Heart Association. 


Shirley will be interred in a private ceremony in Salt Lake City next to her husband of 55 years. Services entrusted to Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Neal, please visit our flower store.


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