Thora Arvella Leifson Shaw passed quietly from this earthly life on August 11, 2008 at the age of 73. Thora was born February 12, 1935 to Leo and Thursa Arvella Davis Leifson in Spanish Fork, Utah. She married James (Jerry) Shaw on September 7, 1957 and their marriage was later solemnized in the Manti Utah Temple on January 22, 1964.
Thora graduated from Spanish Fork High School where she was always considered a top student. She attended Brigham Young University for a short time but chose not to finish her own schooling to take care of her growing family. Later she built a career in the insurance industry as an agent/broker. She achieved the status of Professional Secretary and served as president of her local chapter of Professional Secretaries International and later as Regional President. She was a life-long learner and took joy in seeing her children and grandchildren find success in their own studies.
She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and served as a teacher in Primary, Young Women's, and Relief Society, as well as serving as Historian in the Spanish Fork 15th Ward. She especially loved the young women and they loved her. These special young ladies remained her friends throughout her life.
Thora loved and supported the arts all of her life. She made sure that her children and grandchildren had opportunities to attend plays, musicals, and other art exhibits. Many fond memories involve a night or afternoon at the theater in Salt Lake City or Tuacahn in St. George.
The welfare of the City of Spanish Fork and its citizens was always on her mind. She was the first female member of the City Council in the history of Spanish Fork and served 14 years in that position as well as five years on the City Library Committee and five years on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
She took great pride in her Icelandic heritage and served as Chairperson of the Icelandic Sesquicentennial Celebration of the immigration of Icelanders to Spanish Fork. She was an active member of the Icelandic Association of Utah and was recently honored as an Outstanding Icelander.
She will be sadly missed by the ladies of her woman's club who were all 1952 graduates of SF High and have met together monthly for almost 40 years.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father and two brothers. She is survived by her eternal companion, Jerry; and her three children, Jay (Jeralyn) of Reno, NV; Tanya (Laird) Campbell of Cedar City, UT; and Kelly (Corie) of Selah, WA. Her nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren were the special stars of her life. There was nothing she wouldn't do for them if it was in her power. She is also survived by her two sisters, Rayona (Harry) Humphry; and Mildred Longo.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at the Spanish Fork Stake Center, 1006 East 200 South, Spanish Fork, Utah. Family and friends may call on Friday evening, August 15, 2008 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Walker Mortuary, 187 South Main Street, Spanish Fork, or on Saturday morning at the church from 9:45-10:45 a.m. prior to funeral services. Interment will be in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers please donate a book to the Spanish Fork City Library.