Shirley Mae Ward


DIXON — Shirley Mae Ward, 93, of Dixon, died Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, at her residence.

At Shirley’s request, there will be no visitation or service, just a family picnic. Burial of cremains will be in Arlington National Cemetery, next to her husband, at a later date.

Mrs. Ward was born Aug. 2, 1924, in Rockford, the daughter of Fritz and Clara (Rudolph) Malmgren. She married Roy Davis Ward on Feb. 14, 1942 in Cherry Valley. He preceded her in death on March 5, 1994. She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Dixon.

During World War II, Shirley enjoyed serving her country by working in the Rockford factories in “Rosie the Riveter” fashion, while her husband Roy served in the US Navy where he received commendations for his service. She subsequently worked in factories all her life out in Long Beach, Calif., where she and Roy moved following the war, until retiring in 1986. She also enjoyed long walks on the beach as well as traveling all over the western seaboard and states.  When they moved back to Illinois, she enjoyed antiquing with her sister-in-law Norma, as well as growing perennial flowers and having fun with the “kids” at every family get-together.

Survivors include her nieces, Chris Steder, Janet Beiler, and Diane Sanders and nephew, David Schoenholz along with many “great” “and “great-great” nieces and nephews.

Shirley was also preceded in death by her father, Fritz, mother, Clara, brother, William, sister Dorothy, and sister-in-law Norma Heckman.

Arrangements were being completed by Preston-Schilling Funeral Home, Dixon.

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