Shirley Potts

Shirley Mitchell Potts

1940 - 2023

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Obituary of Shirley Mitchell Potts

On Thursday, June 22, Shirley Mitchell Potts beloved wife, mother, sister and grandmother passed away. She was eighty-two years old. Born to John Ernest and Elizabeth Forney Mitchell, Shirley grew up in Midland Michigan with her younger brother John Forney Mitchell. Shirley attended Midland High School and went on to college at Southern Seminary College in Buena Vista, Virginia where she earned an Associate Degree in Merchandising.

Shirley married William Barrett Kessler Jr. and had two children, William Mitchell Kessler and Elizabeth Ann Kessler, and after her divorce, returned to Midland Michigan to raise her children. There she married Willis John Potts, Jr. in 1969. They lived happily together in Midland and then Mendham, New Jersey until he died in 1984. Widowed, Shirley moved to Sun City, Arizona in 1986 to be closer to her parents and has lived there since. It was in Arizona that Shirley was fortunate enough to meet Thomas Walter Stano and they exchanged vows and spent fourteen happy years together.

Shirley loved to entertain her friends and family. She was an excellent seamstress and cook and a competitive bridge player, ultimately earning her Life Master.   Shirley was active in her sorority Beta Sigma Phi, a social and service organization, and very much enjoyed the companionship of her fellow sorority sisters. Shirley was also an active Member of P.E.O. - Chapter CT Arizona, a philanthropic educational organization assisting in the education and assistance of women. Shirley was a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Tom Stano, her two children, Mitch Kessler (wife Cindi Gillette) and Elizabeth Rector (husband Chris), her four grandchildren, Alex Rector (wife Emily), Katherine Kessler, Ben Rector (wife Lindsay) and Ann Bernstein (husband Sam), step grandchildren, Maddy, Emma and Harry Gillette, as well as her brother John Mitchell and four nephews, Matt Mitchell (wife Sarah), Jonathan Mitchell (wife Sarah), Steve Mitchell and Todd Mitchell.

Shirley’s life will be celebrated in a service at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Sun City, Arizona, on July 15, 2023, at 10:00 am, followed by a luncheon for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made to Chapter CT of P.E.O in her honor at the address below.

Checks payable to: Chapter CT of P.E.O.

Chapter CT of P.E.O

Treasurer – O.B.O. of Shirley M. Potts

10901 West Roundelay Circle

Sun City AZ  85351


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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Regency Mortuary