Shirley Mae Deming, 97, of Zion, IL, passed away on December 5th, 2021 at Sunrise Senior Living in Gurnee, IL. A private service was held at Congdon Funeral Home in Zion, IL on December 13th, 2021. She was buried with her husband of almost 65 years, H. Lee Deming, at Fort Sheridan National Cemetery in Lake Bluff, IL.
Shirley was born in Chicago, IL to Harry T. and Ella M. Benjamin on January 16th, 1924. She graduated from Hyde Park High School in January of 1942. In 1944, she joined the U.S. Marine Corps and spent two years as an aviation machinist's mate servicing F4U Corsair fighters during WWII. After leaving service, she attended Bryant & Stratton College and earned a certificate in typing and stenography. She then traveled to Tokyo to work in a typing pool in post-war Japan where she met her husband, H. Lee. After their wedding in 1949, they raised three children and traveled extensively both during his Army service and after retirement. They settled in Zion, IL in 1967 where she continued to work in civil service at Naval Station Great Lakes. She enjoyed playing bridge, working crossword puzzles and was a prodigious needlepointer. Her needlepoint hobby endured to her final days and she ultimately completed over 300 canvases.
Shirley was an adventurer, accomplished, talented, and independent, but more importantly she had an incredible strength and sense of pride that she carried throughout her life. Although she was reserved in her affection, she had a fierce love for her family that will not be forgotten.
She is survived by her sister Jean Bell of Wilmette, IL, and her three children, Christopher (Joyce) of London, KY, Thomas (Barbara) of Charlotte, NC, and Rebecca of Zion, IL. She leaves behind five grandchildren: Elizabeth, Jennifer, Benjamin, Jefferson, and Sarah, as well as five (soon to be six) great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, H. Lee Deming, her parents, Harry and Ella Benjamin, and her sister Evelyn Rodgers.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the caregivers and staff at Sunrise Senior Living of Gurnee who made her last months comfortable and content, and who helped ensure her last moments were peaceful.