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Shirley Hart Riley

Shirley Hart Riley has gone to eternal rest after a long and courageous battle with health issues. Shirley was born on October 8, 1953 to Gordon D. and Ruth A. Hart. Shirley attended Hutton and Jefferson elementary schools. She attended Lewis and Clark high school, where she gained many lifelong friends and acquaintances. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Eastern Washington University. She was proud of being one of the early students in Marjean Scheele's pioneering special education classes at the Reid Lab school.

Shirley then embarked on a 34 year teaching career, 31 years as a special education teacher at the Spokane Guilds School and Neuromuscular Center. She loved each and every one of her students, children ages one to six. She was fond of saying, when she returned from major conferences in her field, that they had already been doing what she learned for several years. On August 18, 1979, Shirley married John M. Riley III, also of Spokane. They grew up only 8 blocks apart, on 22nd and 29th, meeting while working together during university and law school. They were on their way to their 45th year of marriage when Shirley passed. Along the way, they were blessed with a daughter, Darby A. Riley.

Shirley volunteered with the Inland Empire Perinatal Parent Support Group and at Darby's schools including leading a campfire group. She assisted in many fundraising events at the Guilds School.Shirley enjoyed dinners, travel, the Symphony, concerts, sporting events and parties. She was an avid reader of art history, local history and every Ann Rule book.She loved to go to cemeteries to see the statuary and the old elaborate headstones and tombstones. Shirley loved Halloween, putting on Halloween themed birthday parties for Darby. Among party activities, she transformed a room in the house with green lighting, spooky sound effects, and dry ice. She had a flair for great costumes and decorated with many electronic Halloween displays and music nearly everywhere in her home. She and John participated in Drs. Randy and Betty Williams' legendary home Halloween haunted houses for years.

Shirley was born an independent woman. She was a lifelong advocate for women's and children's rights. Equality and respect were her guideposts.

Shirley was predeceased by her parents Gordon and Ruth. She is survived by John and Darby, her brothers Don Hart (Rita) and Bradley Hart, her niece Tracey Hart and nephew Trevor Hart (Rebekah) and their families.

Thank you to all of Shirley's medical providers, especially Dr. Margraf and RN Debbie, Dr. Wolf and RN Sarah, Dr. Aldred, Dr. Pary, Dr. Wahl and Jennifer Suk. Special thank you to Carol Williams and the wonderful staff at Candlelight Home, who took such good care of Shirley in her last years.

A celebration of life will occur at at later date.

Having had dogs her entire life, Shirley would have appreciated a donation to any entity that helps dogs.


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