Shirley J. Stoffa

Date of Birth

Jul 03,1951

Date of Death

Mar 13,2011

SHIRLEY J. STOFFA, age 59, of Elburn, passed away early Sunday morning March 13, 2011, at her home surrounded by her loving family. She fought the good fight, she finished the race and with the loving, tender care of her family and countless prayers of many, she is now safely home in heaven. Shirley Jane Collins was born July 3, 1951 in Elgin, IL, the daughter of James and Dorothy (Heinberg) Collins. She grew up on a farm in rural St. Charles until the age of twelve when they moved to the family farm on Keslinger Rd., near Elburn. She attended St. Patrick’s Catholic School in St. Charles and graduated from Kaneland High School with the class of 1969. Following graduation, she became employed at National Electronics, LaFox and worked in customer service. In 1973, through a mutual friend, Shirley went to supper with the young man who would steal her heart and in time become her husband of thirty-five years. Mike Stoffa and Shirley dated for several years before they were united in marriage on May 31, 1975 at St. Gall Church in Elburn. They made their first homes in several apartments in Elburn before moving to their first house on Nebraska St. in 1980. There Shirley had a chance to make her house a home with all of her creative skills. Her heart and hands were truly made to be a mother as their children, Todd and Sarah, grew up she exemplified that role in so many ways. In 2000, the family moved to their present home on Pierce St. No matter where they made their home, family was always first in Shirley’s heart. She was an ever ready babysitter for nieces and nephews. She loved cooking, reading and took great pride in her flower and vegetable gardens. Shirley’s busy hands were never idle and through countless hours she sewed, altered, and created clothing and costumes not only for her family but for many others. In later years, she created beautiful quilts and other crafts. She was there for all of the children’s school events and was always willing to provide the treats. Mother and daughter times went from childhood to being grown women, best friends. Shirley was always there through all of Sarah’s joys and challenges. Through the last weeks, Sarah’s role changed as she became Shirley’s caregiver and constant companion. In 2003, the family grew as Molly became Todd’s wife and then in 2005, Abigail Grace was born and Shirley became, "Grammy" finding the beginning of a " light" that could brighten any day. That joy became complete when Cole Michael was born in 2008. There were countless hours of fun and laughter, precious moments of tender care, stories and treats, and arms that held them tight. Abby and Cole truly brightened every moment and they brought hope and happiness to Shirley with every hug. In 1984, Shirley became a library aid at the Kaneland Elementary School. It was a job that would grow into a career as she worked her way up to her present position as the Benefits Coordinator for Kaneland Dist. 302. Apple Canyon Lake was one of Shirley’s favorite places to be. In 1996, the Collins’ family was looking for a place to have their annual family gathering. The perfect spot became the "cabin" at Apple Canyon Lake a place built by family and friends, the Collins’ Ponderosa. It was the place where all of the family could be together and share not only their annual retreat but countless weekends of fun. Shirley had countless gifts but it was the "fruits of the spirit" that perhaps exemplified her best: patience, love, caregiving, generosity, a trustful faith and always being the peacemaker. Shirley’s memory will live forever in the hearts of her family and friends. She was a faithful member of St. Gall Church and the Elburn Firemen’s Ladies Auxiliary. She also served on the Kaneland Hall of Fame Board and the Kaneland 50th Anniversary Committee in addition to volunteering many hours for the Elburn Lions Club. She is survived by her loving husband, Mike of Elburn; two children: Todd (Molly) Stoffa and Sarah Stoffa, all of DeKalb, IL; her two beloved grandchildren, Abby and Cole (and "grand-dog", Chief); three sisters: JoAnn Collins of Streamwood, IL, Kathy Freeburg of St. Charles, IL, and Mary (John) Rogerson of Big Rock, IL; two brothers, Richard (Terri) Collins of Oswego, IL and Don (Karen) Collins of Downers Grove, IL; her mother-in-law, Darlene Stoffa of Elburn; her brother-in-law, John (Terri) Stoffa of Geneva, IL; three sisters-in-law: Linda Stoffa-Souders, Loretta (Jim) Rausch, Lora (John) Cain, all of Elburn; many nieces, nephews, a large extended family and a lifetime of friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, James and Dorothy Collins; one brother, David Collins; great-nephews, Brian and Eric Lloyd and her father-in-law, George Stoffa. Visitation will be held Thursday, March 17, 2011 from 2-8 p.m. with the Rosary to be said at 2 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. A Mass to celebrate Shirley’s life will be held Friday, March 18th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Gall Church, Elburn with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Father Karl Ganss will officiate and interment will follow at St. Gall Cemetery, Elburn, IL. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the "Shirley Stoffa Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Memories and tributes may be forwarded to the family at the same address or on the web at 1-800-8CONLEY

Visitation will be on Thursday March 17,2011 from 2-8PM at Conley Funeral Home, with a service to celebrate her life on Friday March 18, 2011 at St. Gall Catholic Church at 11:00. Father Karl Ganns will officiate.

Interment will follow at St. Gall Cemetery.

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