Shirley Faye Jackson, 96, of Champaign passed on the morning of Saturday, April 15 at the Residences at Coffee Creek in Chesterton, Indiana.
Shirley was born on August 21, 1926, in Hindsboro, Illinois to Walter Pearl Shields and Rose Mae Ramsey. There she was raised on her family's farm and after graduating from Hindsboro High School, she moved to Champaign where she met her future husband, William Jackson while working at Steak’N’Shake in Champaign where he was the branch manager. Together they had a son, William Ronald Jackson. Shirley was a homemaker throughout their life together while tending to voluntary activities on the side.
The church held an important role in her life where she was an active member and volunteer at First Christian Church. She was also a life-long member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and served as the state treasurer for the Illinois chapter for several years, a role that entailed countless cross-country trips to DC and elsewhere.
Related to her work with the DAR, Shirley was devoted to genealogy. She would often combine DAR travels with hours spent in libraries and archives to research the family lineage of her and her husband’s family, managing among other findings to trace her husband’s line back to the de Mowbray noble family, one of the executors of the Magna Carta of 1215.
Her family, however, remained the main focus of her life. Her son married Laila Jessen from Denmark and raised a family there, while Shirley relished hosting them during their annual weeks-long summer vacations at her house in W. Clark St. in Champaign. Frequently, she and her husband would also visit them in Denmark.
Remarkably, she managed to keep living independently in her 2-story house until the age of 93, whereafter she moved to assisted living at Bickford on Staley Road in Champaign. The last two years of her life were spent in Chesterton, Indiana in order to be near her grandchildren and great-grandchild from whom she enjoyed weekly visits and would join for Christmas and other occasions.
She leaves behind a daughter-in-law, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She will be laid to rest next to her husband and son at Van Voorhis Cemetery near Hindsboro, IL. Her family will cherish the memories of her cheerful spirit, love, and devotion, and she will forever be missed.
A gathering of family and friends will take place at a later date in Champaign.
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