Shirley Ann Adams

August 25, 1937 ~ January 4, 2021 (age 83)


Shirley Ann (Sazama) Adams passed away peacefully at the University of Utah hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 4, 2021.

She was born August 25, 1937 on the family farm east of Mission, South Dakota to Thomas Bert Sazama and Agnes Grause Sazama.  She and her six siblings spent their early years enjoying and learning about life on a prairie.

After graduating from Todd County High School in 1955, she attended Black Hills State Teachers College and obtained her Wyoming teaching certificate.  She married Jim Irene and they had 3 sons; Ellie, Randy and Landy Irene whom they raised on the Miracle Mile Ranch by the North Platte River.

 She then moved to Hanna, Wy. where she was mayor of the city from January 6, 1987 to June 20, 1989.  While in Hanna, she drove school bus for Hanna Elk Mountain High School.  She was also the owner of the Miner Bar and Café.

 It was during this time that she met and married Clarence (Tex) Adams on September 19, 1979. He was her friend, confident and life partner. They celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary in September. Tex and Shirley have resided in Spring Creek, NV since 1989.   

She is survived by her husband, Tex Adams; son, Ellie Irene and wife Rose; grand daughter, Brittany Irene; grand son, Eli Irene; brother, John Sazama; sister in law, Noma Sazama, several nieces and nephews and a wide circle of friends, family members, and her beloved dog and granddogs, Zoey, Sadie, Carmelo and Lexie.

Preceding her in death were her twin sons: Randy and Landy Irene; great grandson Benson John El Irene; parents: Tom and Agnes, brothers: George, Ed and Tom Sazama; and sisters: Alice Vaandering and Helen Merchen.

Shirley was known to be a feisty, kind, generous and loyal person to her family and friends.  She had a “get it done” attitude and never avoided offering snappy advice if requested.

Shirley believed that everyone was important and deserved a positive chance in life. 

She was a pre-school teacher at Creative Kids in Spring Creek, and at The Great Basin College Child and family center for many years, known fondly to her loving students as Teacher Shirley.  She served as a board member at Ruby Mountain Resource Center, was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and was also a member of Elko Senior Center.

Because of her ‘green thumb’, Shirley loved her yard and gardening.  In her spare time, she enjoyed fishing, playing card games, reading, watching the Denver Broncos and Utah Jazz play and viewing the Game Show Network. 

She also loved spending time with her best friend and granddaughter “partner in crime”, Brittany Irene.  They enjoyed finding any excuse they could to get out of town, go on shopping adventures and of course hitting up as many Utah Jazz games as they possibly could.  We will forever cherish her memory and always love her as she loved us, with all our hearts.  Enjoy your wings Shirley!

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Ann Adams, please visit our floral store.


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