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Shirley J. Gustafson, 87, of Batavia, Illinois, passed away on August 17, 2017. She was born on November 21, 1929, in Rockford, Illinois, the daughter of Reinhold and Lily (Carlson) Gustafson. Shirley graduated from Winnebago High School in 1947 and from North Park Junior College and Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois in 1950.

She was employed at United States Steel Supply Office in Rockford before moving to Chicago in 1953 to become secretary to the Covenant Director of Children's Work. In 1958 she earned her Bachelor of Christian Education degree at North Park College and served as parish worker at Edgebrook Covenant Church until 1960. She then served as Director of Christian Education at the Covenant Church in Kingsburg, California from 1960 to 1965 and at First Covenant Church of Kansas City, Missouri from 1965 to 1969. In 1970 she began teaching at Blackhawk Elementary School in Freeport, Illinois. She taught 3rd, 5th and 6th grades there over her 20 years of teaching. In 1971 she earned her Master's Degree and in 1975 was listed in the Outstanding Elementary Teachers in America publication.
She retired from teaching in 1990 and continued to serve in missions for 10 more years. She served in Nome, Alaska, Honduras, Russia and the Ukraine.
Most recently she was a member of the Batavia Covenant Church where she served as a Sunday School teacher, member of the Christian Education Board and church choir.

Survivors include: sister Virginia (Gustafson) Roen, nieces Susan Roen, Janice Mosher, nephews, David Roen and Jonathan Roen. Great nieces and nephews include: Ben Mosher, Melissa Hoffman, Eric Mosher, Allen Roen and Allison Wollenhaupt. She has 4 great great nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father and mother, and brother.
She loved people and loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
A memorial is being established by the family.

Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on September 9, 2017 at The Holmstad, 700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia, IL 60510, Use Commons Entrance. To share a memory or send an online condolence, visit

Condolences & Shared Memories (2)

  1. Marlene Hess

    Sympathy to the family in loosing a beautiful lady. She is celebrating in heaven! I had a wonderful visit with her last summer with my cousin Marge.

  2. Barbara Farr and family

    I am saddened greatly on hearing of Shirley's death. She and her mother Lily and father Reinhold were our next door neighbors for many years and we as a young family loved them all. Such beautiful and kind people. Mr. Gustafson never failed to have hard candies in his pockets for my little son. Shirley shone with her parents' kindness too. Blessings to the family.

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