Shirley E. Birmingham

Rosewood Heights | Monday, April 29 2013

Shirley E. Birmingham, 76, took the loving hand of the Savior and passed away on Monday, April 29, 2013, with family by her side after a short illness at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, California. Shirley and her husband were in California visiting their son and his family to help with their newborn grandson, James David.

She was born February 10, 1937 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the daughter of Warren and Charlotte (Schulze) Roose.

On February 22, 1974, she married Harvey Birmingham at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Rosewood Heights. He survives.

Her devotion to the Lord was apparent at St. Paul where she was a 52-year member serving on various committees including Vacation Bible School Director for two years. Shirley also enjoyed helping with their annual Fall Festival and the Happy Bear Ministry for children in Alton Memorial Hospital.

Known for her beautiful smile and the sparkle in her blue eyes, Shirley was a warm, caring, and outgoing person who enjoyed life and lived each day to its fullest. Her favorite times were those spent with her three children and nine grandchildren. They include daughters Shelley (Chris) Gore and Stacey (Dan) Moore and son Jon (Charissa) Birmingham; grandchildren, Joshua, Jared and Kyra Gore; Tyler, Trevor, and Courtney Moore; and Jake, Ashlyn and James Birmingham.

She is also survived by two brothers, Warren Roose of Alton and William (Leila) Roose of
N. Augusta S.C.  With regard to family, Shirley also enjoyed a special relationship with her many nieces and nephews.

Shirley was an avid reader and liked playing various games, especially Scrabble and MahJong.  Her creativity was evident through all the cards she made with her Stampin' Up group.  She also looked forward to gathering with her Bunko group, longtime friends who met for over 28 years.

Traveling was a passion of Shirley's and much of it was spent in their travel trailer. Not only were she and her husband able to visit all 50 states but also enjoyed visits to many other countries. Door County, Wisconsin was her favorite summer vacation spot and winters found them in an RV park in Mesa, Arizona where they developed a large group of friends.  It was in AZ where she fell in love with the sport of tennis. Shirley became quite competitive, winning several tournaments in doubles.

Shirley was a teacher for 31 years retiring in May 1993. Most of this time was spent as the Speech-Language Pathologist in the East Alton Elementary School District where she made a difference in the lives of many children. She was well known and highly respected by the Speech-Language community. She was a Cooperating teacher for a number of graduate students and mentor to many young therapists. Shirley was one of the first therapists in the area to receive a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology and to receive her Certification of Clinical Competency from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). In 1990, she was the recipient of the Illinois Exemplary Public School Award from ASHA. Also, she was in the 1993 College of Fellows and a lifetime member of the Southwestern Illinois branch of ASHA.

In addition other parents, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Marie Young and Catherine Hunt Brown.

Visitation will be from 4-8 pm on Friday, May 10, 2013 at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Rosewood Heights. In celebration of Shirley's life, a celebration of Shirley’s life will be held at St. Paul at 10 am on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Interment will follow at Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto.

Memorials may be made to St. Paul United Methodist Church or the Wood River Branch of American Association of University Women.

Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home in Bethalto is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences and guest book may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

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