Cover photo for Shirley Jean Pinto's Obituary
Shirley Jean Pinto Profile Photo

Shirley Jean Pinto

September 26, 1933 — March 15, 2024

Maggie Valley

Shirley Jean Pinto

Shirley Jean Pinto, a beloved member of the Maggie Valley community, passed away on March 15th, 2024. She leaves behind a legacy of dedication and kindness that touched the lives of many.


As the former owners of Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant in Beaufort, SC, and Alfredo's Restaurant in Maggie, together with her husband Al, Shirley brought joy to countless patrons with her welcoming smile and contagious laugh. She continued this warm greeting with the many visitors at Joey's Pancake House in later years. Shirley served as the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Maggie Valley for numerous years, demonstrating her leadership skills and strong community spirit. She was a fierce believer in the people and businesses of Maggie Valley.


Shirley’s devotion to St Margaret's Catholic Church was unfailing. She was a loving leader in every aspect. She found joy contributing to wedding celebrations for many. Her role as an RCA Instructor, Bible Scholar further exemplified her dedication to teaching and sharing knowledge with others. Shirley’s prayer life was like no other. She engaged in persistent prayer for others, standing in the gap, interceding for healing, guidance, protection, and transformation. She was known for her strong faith and dedicated to the power of prayer to bring about spiritual change, growth and blessings. When people were in need they immediately went to Shirley. Her house was a place of continual prayer, and her light was always on.


Among her proudest accomplishments was celebrating 52 years of marriage with her beloved husband Al. The couple’s love story began in Bound Brook, New Jersey, where they met and later tied the knot the day after Valentine’s Day. Shirley and Al shared a passion for dancing and are no doubt on the heavenly dancefloor this day.


Shirley has been reunited with her parents, Ralph and Eula Hamer Gordinier, sister Barbara Cunningham and her husband Alfred Pinto.


She is survived by her daughter Therese Sutton (Bobby); sisters Rebecca Foster and Suzzanne Dempsey (Jack); brother-in-law Vito Pinto; grandchildren Henry & Eleanor Sutton; numerous nieces and nephews and family and friends who will carry forward her loving spirit.


The family would like to especially thank the staff at Maggie Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation for their wonderful care of Shirley over these last few years. Between the staff, her dear roommate Nancy Glass and her many friends, her life was truly blessed.


A funeral mass will be held at St Margarets Catholic Church at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2024.  


In honoring Shirley Jean Pinto's life, let us remember her for the love she freely gave, the prayers she lifted, and the joy she brought to those around her. In lieu of flowers the family asks that gifts should be given to the activities department at the MVNR center. Checks MUST be made out to Amy Tucker, the activities director Maggie Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation 75 Fisher Loop, Maggie Valley NC 28751

Livestream available :


The care of Mrs. Pinto has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville and an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at


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