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Elizabeth ("Betty") M. Shigley of Tinley Park, Illinois passed into the Lord's glory early on Christmas morning. Praise be to God! Betty was born to Otto and Marge Karasek in Chicago in 1935. Her siblings were Joseph and Robert Karasek, Helen Antis, and Jeanette "Jan" Wagner (fka Chylla). Jan is her closest and only surviving sibling. Betty was married to Francis Shigley, Jr., for approximately 34 years. Fran survives, as do her 4 children: Joseph Illian of Crossville, Tennessee; Mary Ann Hyzny of Waxsaw, NC; Paula Illian Moore (Tim) of Glade Park, CO; and Laura Harney (Jim) of Arlington Heights, IL. She also leaves behind one stepson, Francis Shigley (Ann) of Seattle, WA.
Betty blessed and was blessed by her many grandchildren (Rick, Lauren, Eric, Jacob, Jeremy, Jody, Ashley, Michael, Matthew, Derrick, Nyssa, Christopher, Bryan, and Katy) and their growing families. Also her step-grandsons, Michael and Aiden Shigley, plus many great grandchildren. She loved and admired her numerous beloved nieces and nephews, as well as great-nieces and great-nephews.
She had been a practicing Catholic since the age of 18 when she married her first husband, Joseph E. Illian, the father of her 4 children. Betty and Joe raised their family in Chicago; they divorced in the 70's. He predeceased her.
She earned her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education in the late 80's and loved to care for children in local preschools and day care centers. While her own children were still young, she was employed in the Dietary Department at Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago.
Fran and Betty shared the joy of theater and travel. They visited many historic places within the United States and regularly visited Colorado and Washington. She loved to be taken on long, scenic rides where she had a captive audience to listen as she shared her many thoughts and questions.
Some of Betty's other hobbies over the years included bowling, crocheting, and puzzles. She never wanted to miss a single episode of Wheel of Fortune and excitedly shout out the answers.
Betty loved to more than just occasionally indulge in sweets, she lived for pastries! She liked to bake and take her famous chocolate chip cookies or poppy seed cake to every family gathering, and no picnic was complete without Betty's delicious potato salad. Her children continue her traditions. Betty would barely finish eating one meal before she would begin discussing the next. It was endearing! She and Fran often enjoyed fine meals while dining out and, of course, she looked forward to her daily relaxing glass of Merlot ("mer-lott"). She regularly craved McDonald's cheeseburgers and always treated their beloved dog, Buddy, to one, stating that he deserved to eat cheeseburgers because dogs have short lives. Our mom was a generous, loving woman. It was not uncommon for her to leave those around her in stitches with her funny comments and never ending naïveté. Betty would undoubtedly say that the most important thing one should know about her is that she was a born again Believer. Jesus and prayer were her passions! She was a fierce prayer warrior. When asked or feeling led to pray about someone, she simply did not stop until she saw an answer to her prayer. Upon entering into a personal relationship with Him, Betty's heart was truly changed and she became filled with love for other people, including strangers. When passing by anyone anywhere, she would say a quiet, little prayer: "Lord, please bless them and bring them into a relationship that is pleasing to you." It was sincere, consistent, and heartwarming. Betty loved her Christian brothers and sisters at Christian Hills Church in Tinley Park for many years before her mind and body were ravaged by Alzheimer's Disease. She was known in church as the "candy lady," often distributing candy to the young and not so young on Sundays. She simply wanted to spread the joy of the Lord in any way possible! Showing the love of Christ to her husband, Fran, was her deepest desire and greatest hope.
Her family wishes to acknowledge and extend its gratitude to Hospice of Northwestern Medicine for its excellent care on the final day of our dear mother's life.
Visitation Wednesday, January 3rd 3-8pm at Maher Funeral Home, 17101 71st Ave. Tinley Park. Funeral Thursday, 9:15 am prayers at the funeral home processing to St. George Catholic Church for a 10:00 Mass of Christian Burial. Interment Resurrection Cemetery, Justice.