KAYSVILLE – Shirley Bouwhuis adds life to any party.
Or at the very least she’s behind the scenes making the plans, and at least some of the food, for that party.
Bouwhuis has officially retired from her role as business outreach manager for Logistic Specialties Inc. But she’s quick to emphasize that doesn’t signal an end to her community involvement.
The former Davis County Republican Party chair is still a precinct chair for her Layton neighborhood and still plans to serve as a consultant for Logistic Specialties, working at least a couple of days a month.
“I found her to be a very exuberant, energetic, and fun lady to be around,” said Davis County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings. “She went through some tense moments but did a very good job of handling them.”
He was referring to the three changes in House and Senate leadership, from within the county, that took place during her time as county party chair.
Just nine months into her term, Greg Bell, then a senator, was tapped to serve as Gov. Herbert’s lieutenant governor. That necessitated a replacement which came with the delegate election of Stuart Adams.
Then it was necessary to replace both Sen. Sheldon Killpack and Rep. Kevin Garn after their resignations. They were replaced by Jerry Stevenson and Steve Handy, respectively.
“I honestly believe we’re put on this earth to give service,” Bouwhuis said. “First to family, then church, and then the community.”
As a child, she learned that “even in hard times you can make a difference in people’s lives,” she said.
Her parents clearly demonstrated that principle, even when they were having difficult times financially, but still found a way to reach out, Bouwhuis recalled.
“You get so much more in return” when giving of yourself, she emphasized.
“It’s just my nature. I love people. I believe we’re all friends, I just haven’t met everybody yet,” Bouwhuis said.
“The ability to gather consensus from among different factions and points of view has always been one of Shirley’s hallmarks,” said Jim Smith, Davis Chamber CEO.
“She gets things done. Her interpersonal skills make her extremely valuable to an organization such as the chamber, where we have diverse groups that are working on common goals,” he said.
She plans to stay involved as a member of the Davis County Gala Committee. Part of that role comes in selecting a charity to support each year.
“It’s a joy to be on that committee. Every year we support a different community need, give to a group that is worthy,” she said.
Bouwhuis worked for the Davis Chamber of Commerce for several years, finding another way to be heavily involved in the community.
She later was honored as recipient of the Athena award given to outstanding women. She has also been honored as an outstanding woman by the Soroptimist Club.
Bouwhuis will have more time to spend with her five children, three of whom live close by, and her grandchildren. While husband Mike isn’t quite ready to retire, she said, there will be chances to accompany him on applied technology college accreditation visits around the country.
There will also still be the family traditions of Christmas get-togethers, cheering on the Jazz, time at their Snowbird time share and Bear Lake property.