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Shirley Keslinger Wennlund - La Fox, Ill.: Oct. 25, 1918 – Jan. 23, 2013

Posted: Friday, Jan 25th, 2013

Shirley Keslinger Wennlund, 94, died at her home Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013.

Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Saturday with a brief visitation an hour before at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn, Ill. Burial is at Blackberry Township Cemetery in Elburn. Visitation is from 4-8 p.m., Friday at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St. at Elburn, Ill.

She was born Oct. 25, 1918, the daughter of Charles and Jennie (Johnson) Keslinger in Aurora, IL.

Shirley grew up in La Fox, Ill., and attended a local country school before graduating from Geneva High School in 1936.

Shirley met her husband, Ben Wennlund, in Rural Youth in 1935. On May 21, 1938, they were married at her parents’ home in La Fox. They began their new life together in Virgil for a time before moving to Maple Park for a year. In 1940, they moved to their present home.

After graduating from high school, Shirley commuted by train to Chicago to her first job keeping the books for an insurance agency.

After she was married, Shirley put that experience to work by keeping the books for the farm in addition to being the “chief cook and bottle washer” for all the hired hands, all the while making sure that their house truly felt like a home.

The early 1950’s brought Shirley out of the home and back into the workforce as the family tried to make ends meet. She became a bookkeeper for the Little Traveler in Geneva for more than 20 years before her retirement.

Shirley was a very private person, but unfailingly polite and very thankful for all that she was given. Her closest friends were those in the Sugar Squares who also danced the night away.

Her hands were never idle. She did needle point and counted cross stitch, but also was very adept at card games, especially 31, a game that she claimed helped build a strong mathematical foundation of addition facts for her great-grandchildren. She and Ben loved to travel to their lake home in Wisconsin on Post Lake where hundreds of stories were born and thousands of memories were made.

Also, many trips were made in her later years to South Dakota to visit her grandchildren and to cheer on and support her great grandchildren’s academic activities. Another tradition was the addition of a four legged friend of the Boston Terrier variety, and one that was passed down to each generation.The only exception being “Peanut,” a cocker spaniel that accompanied a caregiver and found not only a place by her side, but in her heart as well.

She is survived by a daughter, Darlene (Dave) Schingoethe of Brookings; two granddaughters; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Carol Winkley of Corpus Christi, Texas; a number of several special caregivers including Angel Callaghan and Karla Kuipers, who were instrumental in Shirley’s care.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Ben.

A memorial has been established in Shirley’s name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Shirley Wennlund Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com where you can also find her full life story.

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