Shirley was born to Otto and Dorothy Johnson July 15, 1935 at Escanaba Michigan and left our world on July 2, 2016 at Turlock CA. Shirley came to Hilmar in 1952 where she has reside since. December 20, 1952 she married the love of her life Eric Nelson (deceased) from Hilmar. Soon after their marriage Eric left for the Korean War, after his return they had 4 children. Survivors include sister-in-law Diana Whitener of Tennessee, Kathryn (Kevin) James of Bakersfield CA, Barbara Reed of Hilmar CA, Eric P. Nelson Monterey CA, and Gloria (Morrie) London of Twain Harte CA.
Grandchildren, Ericka James, Diahna (Sylvester) James, Kevin (Tasha) James Jr., Katie (Chris) Bernard, Shane Reed, Joshua Reed, Amanda and Erica Nelson, Tom and Julie London. Great Grandchildren include: Cooper, Xaiden, Shylei, Maverick, Levi, Alayna, Maya, Teagan, Maurice and Dominic.
Shirley has many nieces, nephews and cousins whom she loved as her own. She enjoyed the company of friends. Many times the visits with family and friends consist of Shirley cooking and making the best potato salad anyone could enjoy, and of course music.
Shirley’s biggest passion was her love of music, she taught herself to play the piano keyboard at the tender age of 5, she also learned to play the accordion and had many happy times playing polka’s and ballads along with the hymns she grew up with. Shirley has played music on many occasions for the Community of Hilmar, and also Brandel Manor in Turlock. She was an activity director for Life springs in Turlock, which she loved to do as part of her passion was caring for others, she also worked as a receptionist for Blue Shield, Cal Farm Ins. and Foster Farms. Shirley played the organ for Berea Lutheran before the doors closed and had been playing for Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Livingston until she could no longer attend. Shirley fought a courageous battle with breast cancer and she is dearly missed already by many.
Services for Shirley start on Friday July 15, 2016 at Whitehurst, Norton & Dias Funeral Service, 286 W. Main St., Turlock, CA, with a visitation from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Funeral Services are on Saturday July 16, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Nova Esperanca formerly known as Berea Lutheran Church, 20019 Bloss Ave, Hilmar, CA 95324.
Shirley will be laid to rest at South Hilmar Cemetery District, Hilmar, California
Memorials for Shirley Nelson can be made to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Livingston CA or Ruby Bergman Cancer Center. Turlock CA, There is also a memorial fund established at farmers and Merchants Bank in Hilmar or Turlock.
Whitehurst, Norton & Dias Funeral Service, 286 W. Main St., Turlock, CA, is entrusted with all of the arrangements. (209) 634-4904