Cover photo for Shirley McGinnis's Obituary
1930 Shirley 2018

Shirley McGinnis

April 9, 1930 — March 19, 2018

Shirley C. Smith McGinnis, of Chillicothe, IL, passed away at Heartland of Riverview in East Peoria, IL on March 19, 2018, with her son Terry at her side.

Daughter of Claude E. and Lucy A. (Hilgendorf) Smith, Shirley was born April 9, 1930 and married John T. McGinnis in 1951. They were divorced in 1965 and remarried in 1984, just 6 months before his death. Her parents and stillborn son, John Timothy McGinnis, preceded her in death, as did her sister Dorothy Guppy, and beloved grandson John McGinnis Sarnik.

Surviving are her children Larry (Jacqueline) of London, England; Terry of Los Angeles, CA; Dorrie (William) of West Springfield, MA; Mark (Karen) of Redlands, CA; and Diane of Redmond, WA. Shirley's children were very thankful they were all able to visit with her the week before she passed. Shirley was incredibly smart and had a wonderful sense of humor. Her children marveled at her thoughtfulness and organizational skills, which were evident in the way she left her affairs. Shirley also leaves 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews. She loved them all, but especially her cousin John, granddaughter Maricel, grandson James, and nieces Molly & Becky, who were a comfort to her in her latter years.

During WWII, at 14, Shirley was employed by SS Kresge Five & Dime, and at 16 became a long-distance operator for Illinois Bell Telephone Co. Shirley and her husband John were co-owners and publishers of TV TimeTab from 1955-68. After they divorced she worked as property clerk for the Peoria Police Department, prior to a move to California in 1974. There she was employed as an executive assistant in the Western Regional office of Weyerhaeuser Company in both Northern and Southern California. There were several other employers from 1965-80, since she often worked two or three jobs at a time.

Following her retirement in 1993, Shirley returned to the Peoria area to be near family, especially her beloved Uncle Dee Smith. Shirley enjoyed fishing, mushrooming, most music, bowling, card games (especially poker), crocheting, embroidery, bird- and squirrel- watching, and was a voracious reader. Like her mother, Shirley collected recipes and was a good cook.

Proficient on computers since 1981, "Sherlock McGinnis" relaxed by researching interests on the Internet. She loved to design greeting cards for friends and family, especially those featuring her cat LucyLu. LucyLu was her companion and a great source of comfort and amusement after the loss of Bubbles, her Siamese cat of nineteen years. Shirley also leaves many dearly loved friends, including Barbara, Joyce, Judy and Carlene.

Shirley wanted no memorial service; her wish was to be remembered in good times. She said she wanted to be cremated and "tossed into the Pacific Ocean near John, the love of her life, on a warm day - not in the cold Illinois winter."

Shirley believed in God and His promise that Heaven is real. She knew Jesus as Savior and was looking forward to being reunited with those she loved, especially with her grandma, Mandy Smith.

In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Jude's Medical Center, in memory of John's daughter, Michele McGinnis, would be greatly appreciated.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley McGinnis, please visit our flower store.

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