Shirley Jean Tuttle

July 31, 1964 to January 10, 2017

Shirley Jean Tuttle, 52, of Tierrasanta, passed away January 10, 2017 at the ParkView Hospice Residence in San Diego, CA, surrounded by her family and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, February 18, 2017, at the base of the main pier at Avila Beach followed by a memorial reception at the Custom House restaurant located at 404 Front Street in Avila Beach, CA.

Shirley was born in Glendale, CA, to Tom and Margi Tuttle on July 31, 1964. The family moved to Tierrasanta when Shirley was 4, and she attended Tierrasanta Elementary School, Serra Junior High, and Serra High School. Shirley started playing softball at age 8 in the neighboring community of Serra Mesa because Tierrasanta did not offer any organized sports teams at that time. Shirley and her younger sister Carol enjoyed playing Bobby Sox softball in Serra Mesa.

Shirley graduated from Serra High School in 1982 after earning 12 letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. She captained her volleyball and softball teams and helped lead the volleyball squad to the championship game in 1981. Shirley was named First Team All-League in softball for three years and in volleyball for two years. In 1982, she earned Player of the Year honors in softball for the Eastern League Conference. Shirley was also Senior Class President, and she was ranked 27th out of 336 in her high school class after maintaining an A-average.

She went on to play softball for the Apaches at Southwestern Junior College for two years and received All-Conference honors in 1983 and 1984. Shirley’s passion for softball and academics led her to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she met her Mustang teammates who became her core of lifelong friends and bonded as sisters for the past 33 years. We will forever miss her at our Cal Poly Alumni weekend gathering each November at Stacy and Jodi’s home and Starboard Lounge. The memories of Shirley at our Shaver trips, Super Bowl parties, Catalina trips and all the 40th and 50th Birthday celebrations will be etched in our hearts forever.

Shirley “Tutt” (No. 13) played second and third base for the Cal Poly softball team for two years and was part of the 1986 Mustang squad that earned a national No. 1 ranking after posting a school record 20-game winning streak. Cal Poly finished second in the Div. II Western Regional with a 32-19-1 overall record and just missed earning a trip to Akron, Ohio, for the NCAA National Championship. Shirley received the Lady Mustangs Utility Award in 1986 and stayed actively involved in helping move the Mustang softball program forward throughout the remainder of her life. She was exceptionally proud to be a Mustang Alumni.

Shirley began her career at SLO Transitions in 1988 after graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in Child and Family Development and worked in the children’s group homes Transitions operated at the time. She made her first mark at the Youth Treatment Program which she managed for many years and truly loved. When SLO Transitions and Mental Health Association merged in 1998, Shirley was an early advocate of the merger and ultimately embraced the continuum of services the merged agency — Transitions-Mental Health Association — provided to children, adults and their families.

Shirley became Associate Director in 2004 and helped to oversee a period of significant growth and change. She was incredibly skilled at many things and the list gets quite long when thinking of all that she did for TMHA over the past decades. Shirley was a key member of the THMA family. She will always be remembered as the wonderful, supportive, tenacious, caring, and dedicated person she was. Shirley touched and changed so many lives during her professional career and personal life.

Shirley is preceded in death by her father Tom Tuttle and grandparents Margaret and Woody Dunn (maternal) and Stan and Leona Tuttle. She is survived by her mother Margi Tuttle, sister Carol (and Don) Kelley; nephew JT Kelley; niece Jessica Kelley, and their loving dogs Bella, Trio, Tori, Piper and Leila and kitty Luna. Shirley adored her Yorkie-poos Tyler and Madison. They meant the world to her, and she took care of them as long as she could.

Shirley was also an avid San Diego Chargers fan and faithfully wore her No. 55 Junior Seau jersey on game days. She was deeply saddened by the suicide death of Seau in 2012 and when her other hero Tony Gwynn, a Hall of Famer from the San Diego Padres, died of cancer in 2014. She also became an Oklahoma Sooners football fan when her nephew JT attended OU in Norman, Oklahoma. Aunt Shirley adored her niece Jessica and nephew JT and always bragged about them whenever she had the chance.

Nothing was more important to Shirley than her family and friends. She covered her refrigerator with photos of all the people and dogs who meant so much to her — it was a colorful collage of her life. She was one of the most thoughtful and caring friends you could ever have and will be missed more than words can say.

May she rest in peace and as Shirley would say: I love you to the moon and back my precious friend!

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Transitions Mental Health Association (TMHA) in San Luis Obispo at:

Donations can also be made to the Cal Poly softball program in honor of Shirley Tuttle:

Note: There are two places where you will need to reference “Shirley Tuttle Batting Cage Naming.” The first is in the space where it asks for “Special Requests.” The second place is at the bottom of the first page where you are asked if your gift is “In Honor or Memory of Someone.”
Celebration of Life
Date: February 18, 2017
Time: 12:30 p.m. (with reception to follow)
Location: Avila Beach (main pier)
Address: Custom House (reception): 404 Front Street, Avila Beach, CA 93424
Directions: Avila Beach

Celebration of Life

  • Date: February 18, 2017
  • Time: 12:30 PM
  • Location: Avila Beach Main Pier
  • Address: 404 Front Street Avila Beach CA 93424
  • Directions: Avila Beach Main Pier

My deepest condolences to the Tuttle family...

Romeo De Los Reyes on February 14, 2017

Junipero Serra Jr/Sr High was where we became friends after meeting at Tierrasanta Elementary. We shared a common zeal for sports but not academics-you clearly exceeded my efforts in that area. You always carried yourself with class and humility. You've always been a sister to me and you will be remembered fondly. We all parted ways after high school and college, but friendships never die. My deepest condolences and peace to the Tutt family.

Romeo De Los Reyes on February 14, 2017

I graduated Serra in 81 and was on the volleyball team with Shirley the whole time. She was so fun and full of life. We lost track after High School, but I so loved hearing about Shirley's life and the wonderful impact she had on everyone around her. My deepest condolences to all her family and friends.

Kelli McMillan on February 14, 2017

My thoughts and prayers are with Shirley's family during this time of loss!

Betty McGraw on February 08, 2017

I will always remember Shirley's kindness and support when I applied for my first position as the janitor for Safe Haven. She was encouraging while helping me in filling out the job application. At a time when I was severally depressed and feeling hopeless and worthless, Shirley held the hope for me and remained supportive and encouraging throughout my involvement with TMHA first as a clieno and later as an employee. Shirley saw me as a whole person! Her smile and laughter were infectious. She always was willing and available to talk to about the good and bad times. Shirley had a heart of GOLD!!! Shirley, you will forever be remembered and forever missed!

Betty McGraw on February 08, 2017

My deepest sympathies to Shirley's family & circle of friends. Not only was Shirley a colleague, but she was also a key supporter in my life, linking me to help when I was struggling. I will always remember when she came to my home in Santa Maria and took me to see a therapist in San Luis Obispo. I don't remember our conversation because I was in a pretty bad place; however, I do know that I felt sincerely cared for. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Shirley. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. Sincerely, Sandy

Sandy Rives on February 08, 2017