Shirley Roselle Barclay Fouts
June 7, 1924 — Jan. 2, 2022
Shirley Roselle Barclay Fouts, passed away peacefully January 2, 2022, at the Washington Odd Fellows Home. She was 97. Shirley lived a purposeful and impactful life as an engaged community member in her beloved Walla Walla Valley. Despite having travelled all over North America and to other continents, the Blue Mountains were the sight she found most beautiful.
Shirley was born on the family farm at Bundy Hollow, just across the border in Columbia County on June 7, 1924, to Frank Barclay and Mae Cahill Barclay. She was a very proud third generation descendant of Southeastern Washington pioneers who settled in the area in the 1870s. She attended area schools in Waitsburg and Walla Walla.
While at Walla Walla High School, Shirley was active in both school and community groups, and cheered on the Blue Devils as Yell Queen before graduating in 1942. It was at Wa-Hi that she began dating star-athlete, Bill Fouts. A bench in Wildwood Park commemorates the place where Bill asked Shirley to go steady in 1941. They were married at her family’s ranch in Prescott on October 29, 1943, while Bill was on furlough from the U.S. Army during World War II.
While Bill was stationed in Trinidad, Shirley worked at the phone company. Shortly after the couple’s peacetime reunion, after Bill traded professional baseball for wheat farming, they began their family.
Their children John Fouts of Spokane (Sharon), Marilee Magee of Sun City West, AZ (Wayne), Shauna Andrews of Walla Walla (Larry), Gail Hatkoff of Phoenix, AZ (Reed); seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren survive them both.
On October 10, 1966, Bill passed away from a heart attack thrusting Shirley into the role of sole provider for the family at age 42. Shirley remained a widow for 55 years, never remarrying. On her own, she paid off the mortgage on the house she and her husband built in 1955 and sent all four children to college–no small feat.
After her husband’s death, Shirley enrolled at Walla Walla Community College earning all A’s. She remained an avid learner throughout her life. She began working for Walla Walla School District #140 in 1969, working her way up from secretary to Supervisor of Food Services. When she retired in 1989, she had dedicated 20 years to planning and providing nutritious meals for tens of thousands of students.
Civic and community involvement were an intrinsic part of who she was. Shirley participated in the Daughters of the Pioneers of the State of Washington, P.E.O., Bridgettes, the League of Women Voters, the Democratic Party, 4-H (judging baked goods and sewing), every activity her kids were involved in be it equestrian and other sports, dance, music or drama.
From the time she joined the First Congregational Church in the 1930’s, she actively served on every committee possible and as the first female Moderator. In honor of her years of dedication and service, the new kitchen at the church which she had designed was named for her.
In addition to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Shirley is survived by her brother, Max Barclay of Walla Walla; and her brother-in-law, Bob Fouts of Spokane Valley. She was preceded in death by her husband; her sister, Doris Foster; her brothers, Darrel Gene Barclay and David Barclay.
Her life will be celebrated by her family in the Spring.