Shirley Ann Nelson (née Hetman) age 84 of Riverside, IL, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. She was the beloved wife of Dr. William J. Nelson. Family and faith were the foundation of their 64-year marriage. Together they raised seven children with love and devotion: Ken (Karen), Bill, Tom (Anne), Jim (Marci), Rick (Maggie), Lori (Armando) Saltiel, and Tim (Ofe). Her amazing legacy also includes 19 grandchildren: Nicole (Jon) Utz, Jessica Saltiel, Cody (Yuliya), Justin (Casey), Julianne (Phil) Pedi, Jennifer Saltiel, David, Sarah, Jerett, Armando Saltiel, Jon, Candice, Kim (Alex) Furth, Paige, Marlea, Hannah, Joe, and Eduardo and Sophia Lopez, as well as seven great-grandchildren: Rylie, Jackson, Logan and Avery Utz; Gabriella and Julia Pedi; Noah Nelson; and three more on the way.
Shirley is also survived by her dear brothers Steve and Bobby (Marian) Hetman, sister Theresa (Bob) Terry and brother-in-law Dan Nesper, as well as numerous cousins, godchildren, nieces, and nephews, all of whom she cherished dearly.
“Grandma Shirley” was incredibly genuine, resilient, thoughtful, competitive, and loving; traits that she passed on to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was an exceptional wife, mother, and grandmother, who built unique, special relationships with everyone in her family. Her kindness was constant and immeasurable and could be felt in her fabulous baked cookies and breads, her phone calls just to say “Hi!”and her presence and enthusiasm for every holiday, life event, and special occasion. She was a passionate dog lover and sports enthusiast who never missed a Bears or Cubs game … or the opportunity to use her sassy sense of humor to needle her Sox-loving offspring.
She was preceded in death by her parents Sophie (née Schabowski) and Steve Hetman, two infant daughters, and her sister Marilyn Nesper, all of whom she loved deeply.
The funeral service for Shirley on Saturday, November 14th at Notre Dame Church has been postponed to a later date.
A celebration of Shirley’s life will be held this coming spring.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Equestrian Connection, 600 North Bradley Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045. Donations can also be made through the company’s website at:
equestrianconnection.org. Please mention that your donation is being made in honor of Shirley Ann Nelson.