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Norma Bailey Shelden passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loving family on May 10th, 2017 after a long illness. She was a life-long Rockford resident. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. Born in Duluth, MN.,on May 28th, 1927, daughter of Norman and Jessie Bailey. At an early age her family moved to Rockford. She graduated from East High School in 1945. Norma excelled in high school and was a member of numerous clubs and the National Honor Society. She continued her education at De Pauw University where she graduated in 1949. She married James W. Shelden in 1954. Norma was a member of several local service organizations including the Rockford Junior League, Woman's Club and the Garden Club. Perhaps her biggest joy was volunteering at the Contact Crisis Hotline where she served for 24 years. She felt it important to help others undergoing difficult situations. She was an avid tennis player, gardener and especially loved tending to her numerous rose bushes. She took great pride in the health and beauty of her roses. Photography was another one of her passions. Norma loved to travel and had the opportunity to travel the world and experience local customs and cultures, including her honeymoon in Havana, Cuba. She loved spending time at a family cottage on Lake Waubesa, WI. and a lake in northern Minnesota she visited since childhood. Other times of the year were spent in Vail, CO. and later in life, winters in Naples, Fla. She cherished time with family and friends and loved entertaining. She was preceded in death by husband James W. Shelden Sr., and sister-in-law Margaret Shelden Griggs. She is survived by sons James Jr. (Carrie), Atlanta; Randy (Kay Lynne), Rockford; Chuck (Kittie Hook), Denver; and a daughter, Julie, Clarendon Hills, IL.; and 3 granddaughters. Also survived by a brother, James Bailey (Carolyn); and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Alzheimer's Foundation of America, Klehm Arboretum, Northern Illinois Hospice or The Rockford Rescue Mission.
Memorial services will be held at Second Congregational Church, 318 N. Church St., where she was a longtime member, on Saturday, May 20th, at 11:30 a.m. with a luncheon to follow. Private interment will be at Winnebago Cemetery.

Condolences & Shared Memories (2)

  1. Jim / Chip!

    Sorry to learn of your mother's passing. Her uplifting spirit always encouraged me to be my best at whatever I did. She invited me in to your home when I'd pal around with Daniel Johnson, Thom Keeling or Roger Hendrick. I would be feeling a little out of my realm in the "Walker" neighborhood but your Mom always made me feel comfortable and welcome and part of your family. Fond memories abound of her love for Second Congregational during our formative years. May your hearts be filled with joy as you celebrate her life. Hugs to you all.

  2. Craig and Terri Lindmark

    Mr and Mrs. Shelden stood out among RCC members and visits to friends on National because they were such independent thinkers and so fun loving. We cannot think of Mrs. Shelden w/o remembering her smile and beauty--inner beauty and outer! Mrs. Shelden will be missed.

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