Shirley was born May 14, 1936 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix. Her father was Ralph Simmons (deceased) and mother is Lillian Stonescipher Simmons (97). Shirley was a true Phoenician and lived almost all her life in the Valley. Shirley met Hiley in orchestra at Phoenix Union High School in her junior year and they became high school sweethearts. They went on to Arizona State College, where they were music majors, and were married on June 24, 1955 after her freshman year. Her parents insisted that she complete one year of college, first. After her two sons were born, Ralph on April 26, 1956, and Tom on November 21, 1957, she resumed her studies at ASU with a career change to business, majoring in accounting. She also attended Gregg Business College.
A big change came in her life when Hiley started their business in 1964 with two partners and Shirley was their secretary, phone operator and bookkeeper (not paid). The business was called Reliable Reproductions and they made negatives, did stripping and plates for the printing trade. After a year, Hiley bought out one of the partners and they added one small press to the venture. After the second year, the other partner left and Shirley and Hiley were sole owners. All profits were reinvested in the growth of the business and sometimes Hiley’s dance job money was what they lived on. As the business grew and the boys got older, they were brought into the business. They added more and more equipment and employees. In 1974, the business moved from Phoenix to Tempe and so did the Eubanks. Hiley did all the selling until the company bought its first four-color press. Then salesmen were put out on the street. Reliable Reproductions, Inc. was selected Small Business of the Year by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce in 1989 and runner-up for the state. The Eubanks operated Reliable for 32 years and employed from 40 to 50 people most of the time, with an all time high of 65.
After the business was sold, Hiley and Shirley retired. They had moved from Tempe to Ahwatukee after living in Tempe for 25 years when Tempe became too crowded. Shirley’s retirement lasted about two months and she went to work for the Tempe Chamber. She was vice president of membership and special projects, a chamber board member for three years; chairman of the Fundraising Committee, past president of the Tempe Envoys; a sustaining member of St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary and past treasurer; a member of Women Informed; past YMCA campaigner and chairman of the Communications Committee for the Tempe Chamber.
Shirley retires, again. This time it lasted three months and she went to work for the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce selling memberships. Her experience and sales talent helped to increase membership tremendously. While she was there, she formed the Women in Business organization that recognized, encouraged and mentored women in their business ventures and promoted their businesses.
Shirley was a member of Zonta International, which is a business women’s organization serving women throughout the world. At the club level, she served as director, treasurer, vice president, president, and chairman of various committees. At the district level, she served as vice area director and area director. Next, she was elected to serve as lieutenant governor, then governor of District 9, which is all of the southwest United States and Hawaii. She traveled the world promoting Zonta.
Shirley and Hiley lived in Ahwatukee for 30 years and then moved to San Tan Valley in 2011. After living there nine months, Shirley was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. She passed away from complications of Parkinson’s on Feb. 2, 2014 at 1 a.m. Shirley is survived by husband, Hiley; son, Ralph and wife, Tina; grandsons, Adam and Trace; son, Tom and wife, Sherri; Sherri’s son Casey; grandson, Andrew; granddaughter, Mandi Zielinski; and her husband Doug Zielinski and four great grandsons. Also, sister, Virgina Mauldin and husband Terry Mauldin; mother, Lillie Simmons, 97.
There will be a Celebration of Life Service for Shirley on Feb. 15 starting at 11 a.m. at San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home, 21809 S. Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek. A light lunch will be served. RSVP by email to HiShirl@cox.net or call (480) 893-0134 to get a head count for food.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Gemini Hospice, LLC., 3960 E. Riggs Road, Suite 4, Chandler, AZ, 85249.