Floral 02

Shirley W Kilens

July 5, 1925 ~ May 17, 2022 (age 96)


Shirley W. Kilens, age 96, passed away peacefully at home, just as she wished, with her family by her side.  Daughter of the late William and Clara Woeltje and sister of the late Dorothy Kleinke (Clarence), beloved wife of the late Walter Robert Kilens.  She is survived by her son, Terry and his wife Kearney, “HER” grandsons, Matt and Andy and her niece Gail.

Shirley was born and raised near her dear cousins in the 30th & Keeler neighborhood.  She happily participated in her church’s after-school lessons after striking a deal that she could leave early enough to catch the street car to go to her much-favored gymnastics programs at the Turner Hall.

Shirley enjoyed a life-long career as a manager at Western Electric.  After her son Terry was born, she was a cutting-edge example of women who sought and enjoyed various flexible work schedules depending on the “ages and stages” of his life.

Known and respected as a formidable bridge player, Shirley also was a shark at all card games and an avid jigsaw puzzler.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and kept her friends laughing. Shirley and Wally raised Terry in Clarendon Hills where he still resides with his family.  As her many neighbors over the 65 years could attest, if you wanted something done in Clarendon Hills, Shirley knew everyone and could tell you exactly who to call and what to say to get quick results.

All who knew Shirley will tell you that her greatest pride and joy was HER grandchildren, though Terry and Kearney were never far behind.  She regaled her friends with stories about their activities and adventures and they listened with remarkable patience.  Even while enjoying almost 30 years of snow-bird time in Marco Island with some of those dear friends, she (who hated flying) never hesitated to come home for the boys’ special events. Although her dementia was quite advanced by the end of her life, she always knew them and looked forward to their regular visits.

Her family extends a special thanks to her devoted caregivers, Samina and Julinda, for the love, kindness and compassion they showed to Shirley over the past 2 years.

Memorial donations may be made to ELCA World Hunger


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