Age 78, of East Lansing, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. Shirley was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1932. She married Maurice “Morry” Conner in 1953 in Lansing.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Myrtle Thompson. Also by four children and two husbands. Two of her sons were premature. One son Dale, born in 1955 died in 1970, and her daughter, and best friend Sharon “Sherry” Knapp died of a brain tumor in 1996. Shirley is survived by two grandsons, Daniel and Adam Knapp, as well as three stepgrandchildren Daniel and Joshua Allegri and Teresa Knapp and one son-in-law, Dennis (Annette) Knapp. She also leaves behind two sisters, Joyce Reed and Geri Swain, of Lansing, as well as a brother, Allen (Betty) Thompson of Dewey, AZ, a sister-in-law Arlene Conner of Dimondale, MI and many beloved nieces and nephews along with many wonderful friends.
Shirley loved the U.P. and after several years of working at the Red Cross Blood Bank, moved to Sawyer Lake in 1975, about 30 miles North of Iron Mountain. She wore many hats there and after Morry’s death in 1992 she returned to Lansing to be near family. In 1999 she married longtime family friend Daniel Gorman. Dan died in 2001 after a fierce battle with cancer. Shirley and Dan had belonged to The Mid-Michigan Mule and Donkey Association. Shirley continued her membership and did lots of camping with the club and also enjoyed taking the grandkids camping at different state parks. She took great pleasure in the campfire and cooking over it. She enjoyed her flower garden and caring for her lawn. Shirley settled in East Lansing and returned to work as a “Demo” lady for Sam’s Club. Health issues forced her to retire in 2005 at the age of 73. Shirley had been a Deacon for three years at Delta Presbyterian Church. She was currently a member of First Presbyterian Church. In 2005 she joined some dear friends in becoming a member of the Red Hat Society. The fork in her hand signifies that the best is yet to come.
The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 26, 2011, at First Presbyterian Church, 510 W. Ottawa St., Lansing, MI with The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey S. O’Neill officiating. Visitation will be held from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Friday at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church or the American Cancer Society.