Shirley Kemp Van Wagenen

Shirley Kemp Van Wagenen

Shirley Kemp Van Wagenen passed away peacefully early in the morning on July 7, 2023 at Creekside Assisted Living in Bountiful, Utah. The beloved only child of Clarence Eugene and Helen Powell Kemp was born August 27, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah. An “Avenues Girl”, she attended Ensign School, Bryant Jr High, East High and the University of Utah, becoming a “Utah Girl” as well as a “Chi Omega Girl”. Many of the friends she made throughout her school years became treasured life-long friends. On September 20, 1954 Shirley married Robert L. Van Wagenen in the Salt Lake Temple, and became an “Air Force Wife” for the next twenty years. Five children were born to Bob and Shirley as they moved from assignment to assignment around the world before finally retiring in Bountiful, Utah, and later the city of North Salt Lake, when Shirley became a “Davis County Girl”.

As a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Shirley served willingly throughout her life in whatever position she was called, whether it be Sunday School, Primary, Relief Society, Young Women, Cub Scouts, Vice President of National Lambda Sigma Church Organization for young adult women, Heber Valley Camp Assistant Director, Temple Square Missionary, Church Hosting Committee, and Salt Lake Temple Ordinance Worker. She especially enjoyed serving on the Young Women General Board.

Always longing for a sister, Shirley met, served with, and associated with many women throughout her life. These diverse women became her sisters. Her Chi Omega sisters were beloved. She was service oriented and jumped at the opportunity to help others. She served in several positions in the community, to include president of the Utah Symphony Guild, a member of the Classics Club, Opera Appreciation Club, Astute Reading Group, Bountiful Literary Guild, Red Cross Director, PTA president and room mother, volunteer tutor, County and Camp member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and was a volunteer during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

An avid reader, Shirley enjoyed reading her scriptures as well as many good books. In her younger days, she enjoyed skiing, golf, tennis, and running, and in later days a good walk with her beloved SuSu. She and Bob loved to travel even after serving in the Air Force. They were able to visit many different countries spanning 5 continents. They loved learning and experiencing each new city and country–France being the best, according to Bob.

Shirley is survived by Rodney K. (Emily) Van Wagenen, Patricia V. Noel, Diana “Missy” (Rod) Hunt, Jeffrey P. (Heather) Van Wagenen and several grand and great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by her parents, husband, Robert L Van Wagenen, and son John R. Van Wagenen.

A viewing will be held on Wednesday, July 12 at the City View Mortuary, 1001 11th Avenue, SLC, UT from 6pm-8pm.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 13, 2023, at the Foxhill Ward building, 200 South Eagle Ridge Drive, North Salt Lake, UT at 11am. A second viewing will be held at the Foxhill Ward building prior to the funeral from 10am-10:45am. Interment to follow at City View Mausoleum, 1001 11th Ave. SLC, UT.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a contribution to the Church of Jesus Christ or Latter-day Saints Missionary Fund.

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1 Comment
  • C P
    Posted at 15:45h, 10 July Reply

    My condolences to the family. When losing a loved one it can be unbearable. In the Bible book of Isaiah 25:8 Jehovah God promises soon to “swallow up death forever.” He also promises to bring back those who have fallen asleep in death (Acts 24:15). In a little while longer this kind of pain will be a thing of the past (Revelations 21:4). May these scriptures bring you comfort in this difficult time (

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