Shirley Mae Monken, nee Frick, 89, of Lebanon, Ill., passed away in her home on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, after a short battle with leukemia.
Shirley was born in 1926 in Belleville, Ill., to Frank and Anna, nee Beck, Frick. She graduated from Belleville Township High School in 1944 and shortly after, in 1946, married her lifelong partner, husband, and best friend, Melvin R. Monken, to whom she was married for 51 happy years.
Shirley loved deeply and was loved as much in return; not only her immediate family, but her nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends will remember the generosity with which she shared her ear, her table, and her home. She celebrated her life with photographs, holiday cards, and correspondence from her loved ones. A phone was always close at hand to chat with family and friends that might call.
She kept up with the times in order to keep up with those she loved; she was never far from Facebook and her AOL email account to stay in touch. Well into her ninth decade, she impressed those close to her with her affinity for technology (despite how she might say she didn't understand it). She had a deft hand with her Kindle and two computers, and at researching and checking out from the library every large-print family drama book she could get her hands on.
Shirley also never lost sight of her old-fashioned hobbies and interests. She loved to dance and did so as long and as often as she could. She took great pride in maintaining her yard and garden and always had beautiful flowers on display. She was a collector, too, boasting porcelain houses and santas, matchbooks, coffee mugs, and perhaps the best collection of giraffe memorabilia in all of Illinois.
Most of all, though, Shirley Monken will be remembered for her independence, strength, wit, faith, and passion. Shirley was a pillar of the Lebanon community and beyond. She will be deeply missed by those who remain, but she will always be remembered with fondness and love.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin R. Monken; a son, Alan R. Monken; parents, Frank and Anna Frick; sisters, Mildred Meirink Batton and Dorothy Chouinard; and a brother, Lester Frick.
Surviving are her son, Kent G. (Grace S.) Monken; daughter-in-law, Cathy J. Monken; granddaughter, Cassie (Morris Whittaker) Seaman; great-grandchildren; Benjamin, William, and Alexandra Whittaker; grandsons, Joshua (Rachel) Monken, Jeremy Monken; and her great-granddaughter, Charlotte A. Monken.
Memorials may be made to the Lebanon Public Library.
Visitation: Friends may call from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, at St. Paul United Church of Christ, 123 East Dee St., Lebanon, Ill.
Funeral: Funeral service at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 at St. Paul United Church of Christ with Rev. Dr. Don Wagner, Pastor, officiating. Burial in College Hill Cemetery, Lebanon, Ill.
MEYER FUNERAL HOME, Lebanon, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Feb. 19, 2016