Shirley Annette (Thornton) Gilchrist, age 70, died unexpectedly Saturday, September 08, 2018 in Topeka, Kansas. She was born July 18, 1948 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Her parents were Marjorie Elda (Aller) Thornton and George Leo Thornton.
Shirley graduated from Topeka High School and Washburn University (summa cum laude). She passed the CPA Audit, and at Department of Administration.
Shirley worked at Blue Cross-Blue Shield, National Reserve Life Insurance Company, J.C. Penney, Legislative Post Audit, and the Department of Administration.
Shirley married James Wessels Gilchrist on February 3, 1969 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
She was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church. She was a talented seamstress and quilter. She produced an annual family cookbook for 30 years, created family calendars, and was the family historian. Shirley was a La Leche League Leader in the 1980’s. She completed the four-year Menninger Bible course. She participated in the Great Books Discussion Library Group at the Topeka Public Library in the 1980’s. She also taught Sunday School at Calvary Lutheran Church. Shirley was active in 4-H as project leader and club leader when her children were members of the North Pioneers Club. She home schooled her three children.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband (February 24, 2016), parents, by her oldest son, Brendan Thomas Gilchrist (March 11, 1978 to August 4, 2007), a niece, a nephew, and a sister-in-law. She is survived by her two children, Erin Johanna (Gilchrist) Showalter (Joe) of Haven and Daniel Harrison Gilchrist (Amy) of Topeka, and her grandchildren Eli Larry Showalter and Addison Marguerite Showalter. She is also survived by her siblings, Daryl Thornton (Germantown, MD), Wayne Thornton (Topeka), Keith (Jonnie) Thornton (Fort Worth, TX), Marguerite (Randy) Kennedy (Topeka), and Lowell (Kathy) Thornton (Topeka). Shirley is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends Wednesday, September 12th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 13th, 2018 at the Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel, 1321 SW 10th Ave. in Topeka. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Topeka.
Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Lutheran Church 4211 NW Topeka Blvd. Topeka, KS 66617, the Topeka Rescue Mission, Inc. PO Box 8350 600 N Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66608 or to Topeka & Shawnee Co. Public Library 1515 SW 10th Topeka, KS 66604.
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