Shirley Ann (Thompson) Dennison

Memorial services and a celebration of her life will be held for Shirley Ann (Thompson) Dennison at the Dolores Community Center on Saturday, April 12 at 3 p.m. Dinner will be served after the memorial service followed by a dance to celebrate Shirley’s love of music and dancing.

Shirley was born a twin October 5, 1946 in Durango, Colo. to Harold Colonel Thompson and Amy Dorothy (Nelson) Thompson. She peacefully left this life at her home on March 4, 2014 surrounded by family.

After attending school in both Penasco, N.M., and Ignacio, Colo., she graduated from Dolores High School in 1964. Shirley spent 24 happy years married to Harry Dennison. An only son, James Michael Dennison, was born to this union. Shirley was extremely proud of her son, who is known as Michael or Mike.

Shirley loved fishing with Harry and Michael at Joe Moore Reservoir. They spent many pleasant days fishing and camping in their little red and white camper trailer. She also loved to crochet and did some fine stained glass projects. She was an accomplished seamstress.

She worked at The Durango Herald, The Dolores Star, The Cortez Journal, and was editor of her very own little newspaper, The Valley Voice. She made certain that her own paper was upbeat and cheerful, which is how Shirley is remembered by most everyone; always with a smile and a hug.

Shirley was also a historian spending many hours on oral histories and taking school-age children on history walks in the town of Dolores. She was very community minded, serving on various committees and belonged to several organizations as well.

She had great times growing up around her Zink cousins on the Waterfall Ranch in the Animas Valley above Durango and spent some of her final hours happily visiting with them.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Woodrow Dennison; her parents, Amy and Harold Thompson; sister, Margaret (Thompson) Bell; brother, Ian “Sandy” Thompson; half sister, Doris Edvalson; step son, Larry Dennison; and step daughters, Edie Johnson and Enel Smith.

She is survived by her son, Michael Dennison (Phyllis); sister, Dorothy Chadwick (Dale); twin sister, Charlotte Thompson; half brother, Harold Vernon Thompson (Darlene); grandchildren, Augustine Hager, Grace Fruhling, and Gradey Fruhling; nephews, Shane Brisbin, Hondo Brisbin, Geoffrey Thompson and Jonathan Thompson; as well as numerous other grandchildren and cousins.

Shirley was cremated and her ashes were scattered in a favorite, beautiful area befitting the beautiful person she was and the memories she leaves us all with. She will be missed.

Arrangements are being made through Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to and click on the obituary section.