Shirley Tonjes
Butler Funeral Homes & Cremation Tribute Center
900 S. Sixth St.
Springfield, IL
Shirley Tonjes

Shirley Tonjes, 85, passed away Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at her Springfield, IL home with family at her side.

Born July 21, 1935 in Springfield to John A. and Melba (Engel) Frederick, Shirley was a 1953 graduate of Springfield High School. She and her young family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1962, where she lived for 50 years, returning to and living in Springfield from 2013 until her passing.

Shirley worked for more than twenty years at New Mexico Blue Cross Blue Shield. She began as a claims processor in 1968, and was promoted four times, becoming the company's first woman to serve as Vice President of Claims, a position she held for ten years prior to retirement. She loved the 80+ employees she supervised. Selfless and kind, Shirley was a dedicated volunteer her entire life. She was president of the auxiliary supporting Mile High Little League, where she cheered on her sons' teams during several hundred baseball games throughout the 1960s.

Among her many contributions following retirement, she served as a Presbyterian Healthcare Auxiliary volunteer for 19 years, including two years as its president. In 2020, she filled 1,000 plastic eggs with goodies for the Village of Southern View community Easter Egg Hunt. Also during the COVID pandemic, she regularly baked cookies for Southern View's police and public works departments, as well as the

U.S. Post Office mail carrier. She kept the neighbors nourished with her world-

famous zucchini bread.

Shirley always had a warm smile, an easy laugh and was a magnet to anyone in need of a hug. Her family has never known anyone who had more friends. Loving, creative, fun and funny, she was fiercely loyal, and will be enormously missed by her family and friends. She enjoyed traveling and visited 12 countries.

Through the years, she also enjoyed ceramics, crafts, reading, and playing games with her children, grandchildren and

new great-granddaughter. She played "Mexican Train" with her sisters, and celebrated frequent victories over her sons in the family favorite card game called "O Hell!".

She is survived by her oldest son, Charles "Rick" (wife, Marilyn) Tonjes of Casa Grande, AZ, and his children, Cody Tonjes, Eric Tonjes, and Kristin (husband, Chris) Neil (and great-grandchild Charlie Ann); Her middle son, Gary (wife, Leann) Tonjes of Ruidoso, NM, and their children, Jerra (husband, Scott) Tonjes-Holden (and great granddaughter

Nova); Jessica Tonjes and Brandt Tonjes; Her youngest son, Stephen (wife, Laura) Tonjes of Mansfield, TX, and their children, Julia Tonjes and Luken Tonjes; step-daughters Janet McCanna of Santa Fe, NM and Ellen Jones of Riverton, WY (and step-

grandson Chris Jones); siblings Janet, Suellen, and Jeri Frederick, all of Springfield; Nieces Lisa Hillman and Emma Frederick, and many cousins.

Cremation will be provided by Butler Cremation Tribute Center prior to ceremonies. The Memorial Ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. (Mountain) on Friday, April 23, 2021 at Butler Funeral Home-

Springfield, 900 S. Sixth St., Springfield. For those wishing to view the ceremony livestream, you may do so by visiting Please visit to offer your condolences and stories.

Memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque,

P.O. Box 92614, ABQ 87109, or

Published by Albuquerque Journal from Apr. 18 to Apr. 19, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial service
Butler Funeral Homes & Cremation Tribute Center
900 S. Sixth St., Springfield, IL
Funeral services provided by:
Butler Funeral Homes & Cremation Tribute Center
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Rick, Gary and Steve- We are so sorry to hear the news about your mom. I wanted to let you know that the Orgill family understands the hole your loss will leave in your daily life and family gatherings. The Tonjes family is now on our prayer list, God bless you and the entire extended family.
Kevin M Orgill
April 21, 2021
Wow, Shirley. What a fantastic woman. She loved life and everyone in it, especially her family members. She was exceedingly kind. I don't remember her ever getting angry. I keep thinking at how much fun and giggling is going on in heaven now that my brother Fred, his wife Anita and my sister Jo Anne are with Shirley. They were all friends in high school and they will be for eternity. I am sorry for your (our) loss, but there are so many good memories to hold on to.
Jackie and Paul Carey
April 20, 2021
Shirley was a fantastic friend, and likewise to anyone that knew her well. I am glad that we kept in touch after she moved from
Academy North, here in Albuquerque. We have all missed her!
What a lady!
Blessings and Prayers to all her family..
Nancy Mead
Nancy Mead
April 19, 2021
May God be with your family during this grieving of your loved one. What a wonderful lady that was part of our FitClub Aqua aerobics class. I so enjoyed her beautiful smile and positive outlook. Shirley will be greatly missed
Cheryl Wubker
April 19, 2021
My condolences to the family . May you find comfort in your treasured memories and Gods promise to return our loved ones . 1st Thessalonians 4 : 13 & 14 .
Earnie Ray
April 19, 2021
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