Shirley Jackson, age 95, of Wilmington, DE and Stow, MA passed away on Sunday, December 31st, 2017.
Shirley was the only child of Elsie (Schelhamer) and Harold L. Gilbert of Monona, Iowa. Her mother died when Shirley was a young child and years later her father married the mother of Shirley’s best friend. Shirley then gained a loved sister, Norma Bruns, whose mother, Wilma, became mother to both girls. Two years later Shirley’s sister, Carole, was born into the family with two doting older sisters.
Shirley grew up in the special small rural town of Monona, Iowa, graduated from Monona High School, obtained her teaching certificate from Iowa State Teachers College now known as the University of Northern Iowa, and later graduated from the University of Delaware. She taught in the Iowa towns of Quasqueton, Volga, and Postville. Later she taught in Chesterfield County schools in Virginia and, after her family moved to Delaware, taught kindergarten at Northeast/King Elementary and Harlan Elementary.
Shirley met her beloved husband, Paul, when during WWII she traveled to Philadelphia to stay with her pregnant sister Norma while her husband was out on maneuvers. His ship returned, he had a shipmate he wanted Shirley to meet, the rest is history. Married for 65 years, Shirley and Paul had three children, summered in the cottage which Paul’s grandfather had built in MA, and for years joined long time friends in Florida during the winter months, along with taking trips to Hawaii and other areas of the US. Shirley lived an active, full life, full of love of her family, enjoying seeing her family grow. She felt most fortunate having such wonderful neighbors as Rae and Morris Freschman and Pat and Charlie Armbruster whose children were like family.
She was predeceased by her husband, Paul K. Jackson, her parents, Elsie and Harold Gilbert, her father’s second wife, Wilma, along with her sister Norma Grahn ( and Al), and numerous of her fondly loved cousins she grew up with in Iowa.
Shirley leaves behind her children, Kay Luedeke (John) of Chadds Ford, PA, Susan Fioravanti (Bob) of Wilmington, and Paul K. Jackson, Jr. of Pittsfield, ME. She was a loving grandmother to her grandchildren – E. Bates Carter, III, Bryant Carter (Amy), Christopher Woodruff (Kristine), Jennifer Gannon (Charles), Paul K. Jackson, III, (Carisa), Christopher Jackson, and gladly welcomed Karen and Roberto Fioravanti into the family. She was fortunate to see their generation grow up and become parents to her thirteen great-grandchildren – Keven, Ryan, and Brenden Woodruff; Evelyn and Natalie Gannon; Jayden and Kendra Jackson, Elijah Garnett-Schnee; Alex, Abby, and Emma Lynn Jackson; Hudson and Kinsley Carter.
In addition, Shirley is survived by her sister, Carole (Jim), of Monona, IA and their children, Gayle Mielke (Bruce), Lisa Woodman (Jeff), Kurt Gerdes (Darla), and Ann Jacobs (Brad) and their families. She is also survived by her husband Paul’s nieces and nephews -Robert E. Frew, Jr., Suzanne Coleman, Mary Ellen Farley, and Dorothy Stratton and their families.
Shirley was cherished and will be missed in this life.
If donations are made please consider one close to your heart, or the family suggests Heartland Hospice, 5661 Ocheltree Ln, Wilmington, DE 19808 or the The Kutz Home, 704 River Rd., Wilmington, DE 19809 who’s care for mom the family greatly appreciated.