Ruth (Arlene) Shelley Sullivan, 98, passed away peacefully on Thursday March 23, 2023 at The Elms in Macomb, Illinois.
She was born October 31, 1924 to Ray and Elizabeth (Robinson) Shelley in Colchester. She graduated from Colchester Community High School in 1942. She worked as a secretary at Camp Ellis for a short time after graduation. The ever stylish beauty then met the love of her life, the always dashing, Russell E. Sullivan. They were united in marriage on Sunday June 29, 1947 in the home of her mother in Plymouth, Illinois. He preceded her in death on November 19, 1999.
They spent most of their married life on the family farm in Fandon, Illinois. She had an amazing green thumb and lovingly tended to the garden. She canned vegetables to feed her family all year long. Arlene grew beautiful flower beds. She would happily share a start with anyone that told her they were pretty. She reared three ornery boys, while helping Russell on the farm. She enjoyed cooking for her family and would always find you a snack if you stopped to visit. She and Russell loved to travel having taken many trips with their sons, a favorite being Yellowstone. There were also special trips with some of the grandchildren that hold such special memories. Her love for family and flowers was followed closely by her love of music. She played the organ in her home singing with her grandchildren, greats and great-great grandchildren. She was still sharing her gift of music with the residents at the Elms as recent as a few weeks ago playing mostly from memory.
When they decided to retire from farming they built a new home north of Colchester. Many family meals for holidays were shared there. As well as, card games, Pictionary, Big Boggle and bingo. She loved to entertain and be surrounded by her family which has grown to be five generations strong.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Lizzie Shelley, her in-laws Dale and Erma (Beck) Sullivan, her sister Virginia “Ginny” Trotter and her brothers Verne Shelley and Gerald “Bud” Shelley.
To mourn her passing she leaves three sons, Patrick (Terri) Sullivan, Michael (Debbie) Sullivan and Milton (Tootie) Sullivan all of Colchester. Ten grandchildren, Tracie (Keith) Anderson, Jamie Sullivan, Scott (Amanda) Sullivan, Gretchen (Mark) Sullivan, Jason (Jennifer) Sullivan, Ryan (Leslie) Sullivan, Jessica (Gary) Dunn, Cory (Shelly) Sullivan, Abby (Jared) Greenwald, Michael (Xandra) Sullivan. Twenty-four great-grandchildren: Taylor (Courtney) Anderson, Torie (Trenton) Kreps, Ben (Kelsey) Broadhead, Sydney (Kelli) Broadhead, Connor Sullivan, Payton Broadhead, Andrew Sullivan, Eddie Lanoue, Brady Sullivan, Sawyer Bloomfield, Dawson Sullivan, Rowan Sullivan, Bailey Sullivan, Braxton Dunn, Lindsey Dunn, Madelynn Sullivan, Miriam and Phinehas Greenwald, Violet and Sebastian Sullivan, Aidan Sullivan, Ethan (Kristin) Fowler, Cody (Leigh) Peffers and Lauren Bell. Eleven great-great grandchildren; Amara, Alaina and Hallie Kreps, Finley and Adley Broadhead, Lydia, Olivia & Mayson Fowler, Anna German, Owen and Xander Roberts.
Memorial service will be 11:00 A.M. Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at the Jones Mortuary in Colchester with Abby Greenwald and Scott Sullivan. Burial will follow the services at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Colchester. Friends may sign the register book at the funeral home from 8:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorials are to, Colchester Library, Employee fund at the Elms Nursing home, or Fandon Christian Church. Condolences and memories can be expressed to the family at jonesmortuaryfh.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Arlene (Shelley) Sullivan, please visit our floral store.