Family Login:

Shirley L.  Kivley

Obituary for Shirley L. Kivley

January 7, 1937 - April 20, 2020
McHenry, Illinois | Age 83

Loving Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Sister, and Friend


Shirley L. Kivley, age 83, passed away peacefully on April 20 after a courageous battle against
neuroendocrine cancer. To the end, she was cared for lovingly by her three children and her sister,
Joyce, but most often by her son, Steve. She will be dearly missed by all.

Shirley was born on January 7, 1937 in Nordmore Township, Foster County, North Dakota to August and
Emma (Gussiaas) Miller, the fifth child into a working farm family that eventually was comprised of 10
children. She was driving grain trucks by the age of 10 and helping with all the daily chores that a large
family and successful farming entailed. She carried her strong work ethic with her the rest of her life.

Shirley married Harold Kivley of Carrington, North Dakota, in 1958, and during their marriage, moved
frequently due to Hal's government engineering career. They eventually settled in McHenry, IL in 1970
where Shirley began her career with the Hostess Baking Company, retiring in 2009, only after the store
was closed. She was often recognized around town as "The Hostess Lady," and was so friendly with a
full-wattage smile that made people feel like they knew her. Many of her customers became her friends,
and for several of her elderly customers, she became a tender and conscientious care giver during their
final years.

For many years, Shirley was an active member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, and her
friendships made there have been lifelong. Some of their favorite pastimes together included going to
most church events as well as attending every professional play and theater the extended Chicagoland
area offered.

Most of all, Shirley loved her family ferociously, and in addition to frequently cooking awesome meals
for them (chicken tetrazzini was a favorite), she often served as chauffer to many outside activities for
her seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She rarely missed a theater play, gym meet, soccer,
baseball or hockey game, and she was a boisterous sideline cheerleader who was known to try to coax
her offspring to greater athletic glory. (She may have been known to pay a granddaughter to be more
aggressive in her soccer games or award Sacagawea dollars so a grandson would not cry in the penalty
box.) Even into her 80's, she was often a caretaker for her great grandchildren, who affectionately
named her Grandma Pancake after the uncountable number of pancakes made during their frequent
sleepovers and playtimes.

Survived by long-time good friend and Yahtzee challenger, Chuck Conway of McHenry; and her children,
Lowell (Lisa) Kivley, McHenry; Lisa (Paul) Phalin, Park Ridge; Steve Kivley, Genoa City, WI; seven
grandchildren Erin (Josh) Timlick, Wonder Lake, Nathan (Rachael) Kivley, Crystal Lake; Jonathan (Shyann)
Kivley, Crystal Lake; Sharon (Jonathan) Didier, Wonder Lake; Mark Kivley, McHenry; Daniel (Allie) Phalin,
Chicago; Brett (Molly) Phalin, Park Ridge, and 12 precious great-grandchildren, Anna, Caleb, Micah,
Eden, Zaccai, Judea, Israel, Emmalynn, Kaden, Savannah, Moriah and soon-to-be born twelfth great.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Merlin and Wayne Miller; sisters, Alice Campbell
and Betty Shannon; sisters-in-law, Bonnie Miller and Patti Miller; brother-in-law, Charles Marsh; and
many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Burial has taken place at Windridge Memorial Park and Nature Sanctuary, Cary, IL. A memorial service is being planned for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or visit

Graveside Service

Windridge Memorial Park
7014 S. Rawson Bridge Road
Cary, IL 60013
(847) 639-3883

Get Directions
Send Flowers

Recommended Local Florist

Suggested Memorial Donations

Arrangements By

Colonial Funeral Home & Crematory

591 Ridgeview Drive
McHenry, IL 60050
Map  | Profile

View Phone Number
Email Us