Shirley White, beloved and longtime resident of El Dorado County, passed away on September 11, 2022.
Shirley was born on January 16, 1966, in Placerville, CA. She grew up enjoying the natural beauty of El Dorado County, including her family’s Christmas tree farm, as well as her close community of friends and family. Shirley attended Ponderosa High School, Chapman University and The Institute of Imaginal Studies, ultimately obtaining her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology.
Shirley cared deeply for others and pursued a career where she positively impacted many lives. She worked for El Dorado County for over 27 years, beginning as a Prevention Outreach Specialist and Health Educator in the Public Health Department, and ending her career as the Manager of Alcohol and Drug Programs for El Dorado County Behavioral Health. Shirley found her work to be rewarding, especially when it came to mentoring youth, and helping those struggling with substance use or those exiting incarceration. She always advocated for those in need. She shepherded innovative new programs, including Drug Courts and Behavioral Health Courts, working side-by-side in partnership with many other County agencies, community based groups, treatment providers, individuals and others throughout El Dorado County. She was a recognized leader, mentor and friend to many.
Shirley proudly retired in 2018 and spent the next several years caring for her parents. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had valiantly begun treatments. Throughout her life, she was a fighter and a bright light to all who knew her.
Shirley loved poetry and books of all kinds, music, hiking, snowshoeing, and being anywhere outdoors. Her relationships with others were very important to her, and she listened with an open and caring heart.
Shirley is preceded in death by her father, Rex Smith. She is survived by her mother, June Smith, her sister, Sandra Wright, nephews, Daniel and Andrew Libby, cousins, and other family and friends who will dearly miss her beautiful smile and generous spirit. Shirley’s presence will be greatly missed by all who knew her, and her legacy will live on in those whose lives she impacted in the communities she served.
A memorial service will be held on October 27, 1:00 pm at Green Valley Community Church in Placerville, CA. Donations in Shirley’s name may be made to Progress House or Foothill Animal Rescue.