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Shirley M. Thompson, 85, of Rockford, passed away August 21, 2017. She was born February 19, 1932 in Rockford, the daughter of Sophus "Ed" and Hazel (Wilder) Rasmussen. Shirley was a graduate of West High School in 1949 and received her Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Iowa State university in 1953. She married Ronald J. Thompson on June 22, 1957 in Rockford. He predeceased her June 1, 2011. Shirley worked 11 years as a floral designer for two floral shops in Rockford. In 1965, she began working as a case worker with the Dept. of Public Aid, retiring in 1997 as an assistant administrator. She was a member of Second Congregational/ First Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder, deacon, and was on several fellowship and mission committees. Shirley was involved in many organizations and had many interests; 4-H Leader, Sandy Hollow Women's golf group, board member of the Rock River Valley Food Pantry, she was an avid gardener and became a Master Gardener, was awarded the Scotts Miracle Grow Award as Gardener of the Year 2006, and was a DOCENT at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Gardens. She loved all sports and was awarded Athlete of the Year 1953 at Iowa State University.
Shirley is survived by her son, Richard (Theresa) Thompson; daughter, Shelley Thompson; grandchildren, Nicholas (Abby) Thompson and Sarah (Richard) Williams; great-grandchildren, Ava, Claire,and Samuel Thompson and Decorah Williams; sister, Joan (Tom) Patierno; and several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by parents; husband, Ronald; sister, Marguerite Rasmussen; and brother, Stuart Rasmussen.
Services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25, 2017, at Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Ltd., Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001, 2nd Ave., Rockford with Pastor Becky Erbe officiating. Visitation will be prior to the service from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. Burial in Willwood Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Rock River Valley Food Pantry, 421 S. Rockton Ave., Rockford, IL 61102, Klehm Arboretum, 2715 S Main St., Rockford, IL 61102 or Heartland Hospice, 1010 Executive Dr. Suite 200, Westmont, IL 60559.

Condolences & Shared Memories (15)

  1. Meghan Bowe

    Shirley was an amazing, energetic, endlessly caring. I admired her ability to motivate, inspire and lead others. Her sense of humor always brought a smile to my face. I have missed seeing her and very sad to learn of her passing. I knew Shirley through the master gardener program. She taught myself and many others the art and science of being a gardener. My sincere condolences.

  2. Joanne DiMare

    Shelley, I'm so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. It doesn't matter how old we are when a parent passes--it is a difficult time for sure. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Gloria Lind

    What a wonderful Lady! Serving as legislative to Rep Zeke Giorgi, she helped us - help other with dire needs. She has touched my life again with mention of Klehms. Serving as an elected board with the Forest Preserves, a prayer will be said during our Monday meeting..

  4. Linda Verstein

    Shelly, So sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. I knew she was special to you and so it seems to so many others. Take care Linda

  5. Jane M Wallace

    Shirley was an inspiration in so many ways - from Klehm to the Pantry! She was instrumental in the 'Plant a Row" program which provides extra fruits and veggies for the clients at the Pantry. She is truly missed.

  6. Kelly Johnson

    I am so sad to hear of Shirley's passing. I was a fellow Pantry board member and Shirley was just a joy to be around. And I always enjoyed her cute sense of humor. She will be dearly missed by many.

  7. Kathy Vigna

    I only knew Shirley for a few years through the Sandy Hollow Business Women's Golf League. I enjoyed my time with her on the course and at our 19th hole gatherings. she was quite fond of cheeseburgers and fries as I remember. Her wit made us all smile. We have missed her. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  8. Gail Pollard

    Sympathies to all. Shirley always kept the Centerville Community Club on our toes. We will miss her humor and her wit. Also the gardening knowledge she passed on to each of us.

  9. Joan Dixon

    So sorry to hear this sad news. She was always a joy to golf with and will truly be missed by everyone on the Sandy Hollow Golf League.

  10. Jane Hammer

    Shelley, my deepest sympathy to you and your families. The memories of your Mom will be with you forever, and never will a day go bye that you don't think of her or see or hear something that will remind you of her and what she taught you about life. Stay strong and enjoy everyday to its fullest.

  11. Mary Maggio

    Shirley and I worked together at the D.P.A. for many years. We maintained our friendship via phone,occasional lunches, and recently visits.Shirley always enjoyed not only sports and gardening but also had a passion for cars.However her favorite topic evolved around her family of whom she was most proud,especially her grandchildren ( as is true of us "old folks").She and her loved ones remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. Cris Gagliano

    I will miss my "Sister of the Creek". What a wonderful person you were. Sandy Hollow will miss you. Rest In Peace Shirl, it was a honor to be able to golf with you. Hit em straight with the man upstairs. ❤️❤️❤️in our hearts always.

  13. Frances Gregorcy

    I worked at RMH when Ron worked there before he did the TB bus. I met Shirley through him and then again when I joined the Business women's golf group. I enjoyed the many times I golfed with her and enjoyed also the numbers of times she had us out at her home for golf picnics. She and Ron were always warm and friendly and she would also help me with my gardening questions. I have missed her already. My condolences to her children.

  14. Beth Binger

    My thoughts and prayers to Shirley's family. I served on the Rock River Valley Pantry for many years with Shirley. She will be deeply missed.

  15. Christiane Knapp-Andrews

    My deepest condolences to you. My heart goes out to you. Lots of prayers coming your way!

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