Surrounded by her nearby family, Shirley Ann Sonneborn, 81, passed away peacefully in South Bend at the Center for Hospice Care on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.
Shirley, who called Elkhart home, was born October 9, 1936 in Dayton, OH to the late Frederick E. and Elva (Frazer) Shelton Jr. Also preceding her in death was a brother, Frederick E. Shelton, III.
Surviving are a sister, Nancy (Joe Anderson) Durnell of Payson, AZ; three children: Amy (Joseph) Sonneborn-Turnock of Granger, Kristin (Patrick) Rose of Cincinnati, OH, Charles F. Sonneborn, III (life partner Dan Kirk) of Casa Grande, AZ; four grandchildren; Joseph and Joshua Turnock and Jacob and Nina Rose.
Shirley graduated from Oakwood High School in Dayton, OH and received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in special education from Indiana University. She was an active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church as well as several organizations including: Tri Kappa, Alpha Xi Delta at the University of Michigan, the Red Hat Society and the Elkhart Retired Teachers Association. She was also active with the Panhellenic Society as well as the DAR. She taught at St. Matthew’s Cathedral elementary school in South Bend and also taught special education for the Concord Community School District from 1984 until her retirement in 2002.
She was especially proud of and passionate about her grandchildren, dogs and the tranquility of Lake Michigan as well as the pond nearby her home. She moved to South Bend after her marriage to Charles F. Sonneborn Jr, former owner of Sonneborn’s Sports Shop. Even though they divorced after 35 years, they had three children. She often reflected upon her special twenty years friendship with Robert Mast of Elkhart, who passed away in 2016.
Shirley’s favorite hobby was watching her children and grandchildren play sports. She occasionally enjoyed swimming, traveling (especially to Mackinaw Island), playing the piano (formerly the saxophone), golfing, gardening and doing craftwork. She was known and will be missed for her energetic spirit, active storytelling and the many people she reached through her teachings of educational curriculum and life lessons.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 10th from 2 until 4 at the Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home. Friends may also call for one hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 11th at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger. Monsignor William Schooler will officiate and burial will be in St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger.
Memorial contributions in memory of Shirley may be made to the Women’s Care Center 229 W. Marion St. Elkhart, IN 46516 or the Center for Hospice Care 501 Comfort Place Mishawaka, IN 46545.
Women's Care Center
229 W. Marion Street, Elkhart IN 46516
Center for Hospice
501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545