Shirley Williams
Shirley Williams

Obituary of Shirley A. Williams

Shirley A. Williams (84) resident of St. Maries, ID passed away at her home surrounded by family on April 2, 2024.  She was born to Norman and Hazel Woolley on July 16, 1939, in Willits, CA.  Shirley grew up in Potter Valley, CA graduating from Potter Valley High School with the class of 1957.  Following high school, she married Kenneth Cook in June of 1957.  The couple made their home in Colorado for a few years before returning to Potter Valley.

Raising a family, Shirley stayed home to take care of her children for a few years.  She then worked as a waitress and a cook in restaurants.  Later, she went to cook for the local hospital, nursing home, school, jail, and prison.  Cooking for people was Shirley’s love language and she doted on anyone she cooked for.  Her marriage to Kenneth ended in divorce, but Shirley was blessed with true love when she met and married Ray Williams on December 22, 1992.  They were soulmates and the best thing that had ever happened to each other.  Ray’s work took the couple to Weiser, ID where Shirley went to work for the prison between Weiser and Ontario, OR.  To most this would seem a big scary prison, but to Shirley, they were extra kids that she would take care of and feed.  The inmates loved her and looked at her as a mom; she watched out for them, and they would watch out for her.  After 5 ½ years in Weiser, Ray and Shirley moved to Orofino where she again went to cook at the local prison.  She spent 5 years there before her and Ray decided to move to St. Maries, ID. 

Life in St. Maries was semi-retirement for Shirley.  She went to work part time for the Benewah County Jail again cooking for inmates.  She joined the Community Presbyterian Church and fell in love with her church family.  They were amazing to her, and she was a blessing to them help cooking for bazaars and holiday dinners.  When Shirley wasn’t cooking for someone, she enjoyed being on the water, fishing, crossword puzzles, gardening, and canning.  Pickled asparagus was a favorite as was the Kokanee they caught.  She loved to crochet, and each family member was gifted homemade gifts such as hats, blankets, dolls, and potholders.  Most importantly, Shirley’s family was everything to her and she loved them all dearly.  She was one of a kind and will be missed by anyone who knew her.

Shirley is survived by her children Melvin (Colleen) Cook of St. Maries, ID, Kevin (Tina) Cook of Athol, ID, Larise (Andy) Bailey of St. Maries, ID; step-children Michael (Susan) Williams of Lakeport, CA, Tim (Shawn) Williams of Willits, CA, and Debra Deason of Astoria, OR; 16 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Ray Williams, an infant son, and her siblings Bill Woolley, John Woolley, Norma Woolley-Clark, Tom Woolley, Richard Woolley, and Myrna “Sue” Woolley- Marshall.

A Memorial Service for Shirley will be May 4 at 11:00 am at the Community Presbyterian Church in St. Maries. 


Memorial Service

11:00 am
Saturday, May 4, 2024
Community Presbyterian Church
1100 College Ave
St. Maries, Idaho, United States
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