Cover photo for Mary Alice Shamo Anderson's Obituary
1936 Mary Alice Shamo Anderson 2023

Mary Alice Shamo Anderson

January 26, 1936 — February 21, 2023



Mary Alice Shamo Anderson


Mary Alice Shamo Anderson returned to our Heavenly Father’s presence February 21, 2023, six weeks after her eternal companion.  She was born January 26, 1936 at her home in Hurricane, Utah to Harry Franklin Shamo and Elizabeth Eagar Shamo.  She was the 15th of 16 children.  At the age of two years her mother died; her father followed when she was 11 years old. 


While orphaned, she was never alone.  Her siblings rallied and quickly took her in. She was raised by her sister and brother-in-law, Fay and Arthur Jones. She became and was treated as their child.  She was loved and protected by them and all her siblings.  She lived in Cedar City from that time until she married.  In her teens she was highly influenced by some amazing young women leaders who instilled within her a desire to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and attain a temple marriage.  She loved working at the Candy Kitchen, hiking and picnicking. During her sophomore year of high school, she met the love of her life, David Neil Anderson.  She was walking home from softball, and he offered her a ride home.  Prior to David’s deployment to Europe during the Korean Conflict, they started dating. They fell in love through daily letter writing.  In December of 1953, he returned and soon after they got engaged. They were married on March 12, 1954 in the St. George Temple.  After her marriage she graduated in the spring from Cedar High School. David and Mary soon started an eternal family that has grown from two to 174 (the newest arriving just two weeks ago). 


After a spring of shearing sheep, Mary began helping Dave with his college goal.  While in college, Mary began having their children. They had Betty Ellen, David Jay, and Christine during those years.  They moved to Logan to attend Utah State University. They lived in the “lambing sheds” in Logan that had been converted to married student housing and met lifelong friends there.  Mary budgeted well the money from the $25 monthly GI bill. This started a lifelong budgeting pattern.  She always had a ledger with monthly expenses written down.  They graduated from Utah State in the spring of 1958, David with his teaching degree and Mary with her PHT (Putting Hubby Through).  She typed many papers and completed his missing credits by doing all the work for an interior design class.


Their first home after graduation was in Alamo, Nevada. David taught at Pahranagat Valley High School starting in the fall of 1958. Mary was always a full-time mom.  She never held a job outside their home - yet worked double time in her home. While in Alamo, Robert Brent, Janet, and Kendall Dean joined the family.  Alamo brought a busyness to life - raising children while David carved out their future.


In 1967 Mary and David moved their family to Mesquite. There they added their last two daughters: Machelle and Andrea.  She was supportive all of David’s many endeavors. She truly was the wind beneath his wings.  She counseled him with business and did his books when he started the electrical company.  They loved to travel.  She was always ready at the drop of the hat to ride to Vegas for parts.  While David attended meetings, many hours were spent as she busied her hands with quilts, embroidery, or other handwork.  They adventured all over the world: Russia, Europe, Australia, Tonga, and Central America.  Most of all, they enjoyed long rides in the car, always choosing to drive over flying, when possible, no matter the distance. 


Mary and David served two full time missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They served the people of Tonga from January 1994 to November 1995.  After returning home they prepared and served in Melbourne, Australia, working with the Church Educational System from October 2001 to March 2003.  Elder and Sister Anderson were always teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Mary served as a temple worker before, during, and after her missions setting the temple as a priority in her gospel service. She held many more callings in the Church: Relief Society President, Young Women’s President, in the Primary and always a minister.  She loved the Lord and instilled that love in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.


Mary spent many hours at her sewing machine.  She made more quilts than we can count -  quilts for weddings, babies, and graduations.  Her favorite pattern was “Around the World” made with polyester knits.  She learned to sew in 4H as a child.  This skill brought new clothes in tight financial times.  She sewed shirts for David, beginning with matching shirts for their honeymoon, clothes for her babies and sewing just for sanity.  If the sewing room door was closed, we knew to just let her sew.  Mary was a great cook - spudnuts for Christmas, bottled fruit in the summer and 9-10 loaves of bread weekly.  Living across the street from school brought children home for lunch and David, too.  When the bread was warm, she would always sacrifice one loaf for bread breaking.  Mary was particular about laundry.  She was so grateful when permanent press fabric came to be and was always quick at the dryer.  David would always open the door for extra children to come in and stay in their home and Mary would care for them: nieces, nephews, and many others.  Cousins would come for weeks in the summer, making memories that are still favorites today. 


Mary and David were inseparable.  After David died in January, Mary woke on day seven and said, “He said he would come and get me in a week.”  We were surprised that it took six.


Mary is survived by her children: Betty (Gary) Brown, Orem, Utah; David (Lynne) Anderson, Mesquite, Nevada; Christine (Robert) Foisy, Alamo, Nevada; Robert (Karma) Anderson, Cedar City, Utah;  Janet (Darryll) Dodenbier, Bunkerville, Nevada; Kendall (Celeste) Anderson, Bunkerville, Nevada; Machelle Johnson, Truckee, California; Andrea Tilton, Bunkerville, Nevada; 37 grandchildren and 84 great-grandchildren with more to come; her sister, Nellie Peterson; and sister-in-law, Luana Shamo.  She is preceded in death by her parents and 15 siblings, son-in-law, Jeffery Tilton; and grandchildren, Tami and Troy Dodenbier.


Funeral services will be held Monday, February 27, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mesquite Nevada West Stake Center, 100 N. Arrowhead Lane, Mesquite, Nevada.  Viewings will be Sunday, February 26, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and again prior to services from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., also at the stake center. Interment will be at the Bunkerville Cemetery.


The family would like to express appreciation for the care provided to both Mary and David by Carolyn and Mesa View Hospice.  They were able to stay in their home because of their assistance.  We will be eternally grateful.


Family and Friends may leave condolences at


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, February 26, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Pacific time)

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints West Stake Center Mesquite

100 North Arrowhead Lane, Mesquite, NV 89027

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Monday, February 27, 2023

9:00 - 10:30 am (Pacific time)

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints West Stake Center Mesquite

100 N Arrowhead Ln, Mesquite, NV 89027

Prior to Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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