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Shirley Ann Hamblen, Age 72 of Sandwich, formerly of Elburn, and Sugar Grove, passed away peacefully, Wednesday afternoon, January 31, 2007 at the Willow Crest Nursing Pavillion, Sandwich, IL. Surrounded by members of her family, the Willow Crest staff and the prayers of family and friends from far and wide, Shirley claimed at last, the peace of heaven and freedom from a human frame that long ago, ceased to keep up with her heart and mind. Afflicted with MS for more than thirty years, Shirley never complained about her limitations, she simply lived above and beyond them. BORN / EARLY YEARSShe was born September 22, 1934 in Elgin, IL, the daughter of Clarence Everett and Isabel Janett (Challis) Read. They made their home near Elburn, where Shirley grew up on the family farm. She attended local schools and was the first girl ever to participate in "boys" 4-H Club in Kane County – something that was always a personal point of pride. OCCUPATION / WORK HISTORY Through her working years, Shirley was especially fond of the nearly eight years she spent as a nursing assistant at Community Hospital Geneva. Though she always wished she could have become an RN, her time employed as a loving and thoughtful home-caregiver made life better for many, over the years. LIFE NOTES Shirley was a member of the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church for many years andpossessed a strong and living faith that carried her through many trials. Its corner stone was the Golden Rule, and her favorite scripture was the 23rd Psalm. Simply put, her motto was: "Smile; be happy and keep looking up, for God is always there." She not only lived her life with that confidence, but when she made up her mind and spoke it – it may as well have been God speaking because nothing in this world or the next was going to change her mind! She was a huge Elvis Presley fan. She loved the man, the music and everything about "the King". His picture adorned her walls almost as much as her family, and she enjoyed the teasing and bantering that went with it. She was also a collector of frogs, and dozens of them – great and small- "hung out" above her armoire at Willow Crest.SURVIVORS Married for twenty years to Donald Hamblen, she was blessed with seven children who were the "stars" of her life and the love of her life-time. She joins now her eldest son, Bill Hamblen, (1985), and is survived by her six remaining children and their families: Cindy (Mark) Tomasik, Howell, MIAnd children:Kimberly Halsey of Cortland, IL, (Justin, Tristan and Logan)Rob Gum of Cortland, IL;Gary (Jolene) Hamblen of Oglesby, IL And children:Kelly Anderson of Hinckley (Saige, Trevor, Brittany)Chad (Kathy) Hamblen of Ashkum, IL (Morgan, Kennedy, Skylar)Clint (Katie) Hamblen of Sandwich, IL (Luke);Kevin Hamblen of Rochelle, ILAnd children: Brandy (Todd) Overhaug of Sycamore, IL (Teagan, Rhyan, Lucas)Renee (Doug) Kiefer of Maple Park, IL (Madison and Brennan);Tonni Crawford of Sandwich, ILAnd children:Jessica (Brad) Armbruster of Sycamore, IL Keith Shultz of VirginiaPeggy (Darryl) Nix of Hinckley And child:Jenna (Joshua) Johnson of Sheridan, IL (Jolie)Jason (Lorrie) Hamblen of Sugar Grove, ILAnd children:Brandon and Billy.She is survived as well by one brother, James P. Read of Ocala, FL, and one nephew Jim "Cricket" Read of Aurora, IL.In addition she leaves a family of friends at the Willow Crest Pavillion, as well as her caring physician, Dr. Saroor Alam, all of whom Shirley’s family most deeply appreciate for all of their devoted and loving care. PRECEDED She is preceded in death by her parents, one brother Clarence "Junior" Read, one son Bill Hamblen, one grandson, Ryan McCarney, and her grandson-in-law, Lance Halsey; two sisters-in-law, Gay and Judy Read. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in Shirley’s name to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the Shirley Hamblen Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through her obituary at www.conleycare.com.
Memorial visitation will be held at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. Friday, February 9, 2007 from 4-7:30 pm with a memorial service to follow at 8pm.
Private family cremation interment will later be held at New Hampshire Settlement Cemetery, Rt. 47, Lily Lake, IL.