Shirley Sandage Knecht, 40, Bloomington, went to be with her maker at 10 p.m. Sunday (April 15, 2012) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal.
A celebration of life service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Grace United Methodist Church, Bloomington, with the Revs. Rick Kerr of Grace United Methodist Church and Mark Rowe of Foursquare Gospel Church officiating. Shirley will be cremated and requests to have her cremains scattered at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Shirley Sue Knecht Trust for her children’s education at Anchor State Bank. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.
She was born Dec. 8, 1971, the daughter of Leonard and Karen Sandage, rural Saybrook. She married Stephen Knecht on Sept. 2, 1995. He survives. Shirley and Stephen (divorced) are the proud parents of Corrisa Sue, Elaina Jaelyn and Joseph Paul. They are also parents of Ashley Erin, stillborn March 10, 1998.
Other survivors include one brother, Rodney (Susan) Sandage, Bloomington, and one sister, Lori (Joe) Bradbury, Worthington, Ind. She is the proud aunt of Katie Sandage, Dawson, Owen and Mason Bradbury.
Shirley met her soul mate, Thomas Clark III in August 2008. She shared her love with his three children, TJ (Jenn), Tyler (Corrisa) and Tiffany Clark and the Clark grandchildren, Tanner, Bo, Trinity, Teegan and Anna Marie.
Shirley was very busy throughout her high school years playing volleyball, softball and basketball, along with participating in FFA. She carried a section office position all four years and achieved the State Farmer Award. Shirley graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
She was employed by Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning as office manager for 15 years. The employees and owner supported her 100 percent throughout her three battles with cancer. Shirley was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.
She purchased her own Harley Davidson motorcycle in 2009. That summer she rode over 3,000 miles with Thomas and other founding members of the motorcycle group, “Guardians of Children,” which supports and works with sexually abused children.
Shirley was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and Foursquare Church, both of Bloomington. She put God first and foremost and is very thankful that Tom turned her back to the Lord. Shirley requests that even though she may be gone in body, her memory carries on.