Velma Marie Shriver

December 8, 1918 - March 2, 2020

Velma  Marie  Shriver


Velma Marie Shriver of Poplar Grove, Illinois, died at age 101 on March 2, 2020.  She was born December 8, 1918, to August and Mathilda Engel Deeke  in Elk Grove, Illinois, where she grew up with her sister, Lois Pohlman Young (d. 1999), working on their truck farm selling vegetables and flowers at the Chicago farmer’s market. She graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1938.  Although she never attended college, she ensured that her 3 sons graduated from college, and was proud that all of her grandchildren did as well.

She married Donald G. Shriver (d. 1994) of Bensenville, Illinois, in 1940 and they moved to a farm in Boone County in 1946, despite the absence of indoor plumbing.  Initially, she worked at Admiral in Harvard, Illinois, often coming home to find a tractor running to continue the farmwork while her husband went off to work the night shift at Deans.  Additionally, she even grew cucumbers, later strawberries, for sale.  Later in life, she ran very successful businesses selling Avon products and Minnesota Woolen clothing on the party plan, winning many awards and trips.

She was a child of the 20th century, having survived polio, living through the depression,  World War II, and numerous Chicago Cubs underperforming seasons.

Velma was always an involved community member as a part of Toastmistresses, the Homemakers Club, the Democratic party in Boone County, and the Clinton, Wisconsin Senior Center and as a hospital volunteer.

Velma’s grandchildren knew her as the “go-go Grandma,” and they all loved spending time at the farm and Wisconsin cabin with her and taking several trips with her about the Country.  She made it to Wrigley Field to watch her beloved Cubs during their World Series year.

She was an animal lover turning several stray dogs and cats left at her doorstep into beloved companions and even naming the last one “Lucky.”

She believed strongly in the power of prayer and loved attending retreats at the Unity Church in Kansas City, Missouri.  Her family all knew that, if they had a problem, they could call Grandma, and she would talk to the Unity prayer line to make sure they were on the prayer list.

She is survived by sons:  Donald L. (Catherine), Mike (Merrie), and Kevin (Sarah); grandchildren:  Donald P. (Jennifer), David (Erin), Daniel (Mexi), Suzanne, Liz (Ashley), and Emma (Matt) and nine great-grandchildren with another on the way.  The family wishes to express its gratitude to dear friend and caregiver, Valeri Rose, and special friend, Teresa Shriver.

She danced the polka at her 90th birthday party and told jokes at her 100th.

We will miss her and we can hear her now as she challenges people on her next journey, “so what are you gonna do about it?”

Visitation from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 6, at Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services, 218 W. Hurlbut Ave., Belvidere, Illinois, and memorial service at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, at Capron Lutheran Church, 155 2nd St., Capron, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial to Unity Church Village in Kansas City, Missouri, or National Resources Defense Council.

Service Schedule

Friday, March 6, 2020
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services

218 West Hurlbut Ave
Belvidere, IL 61008


Visitation from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 6, at Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services, 218 W. Hurlbut Ave., Belvidere, Illinois

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Capron Lutheran Church


Memorial service at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, at Capron Lutheran Church, 155 2nd St., Capron, Illinois.

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To Don and Velma’s entire family. I had the pleasure of meeting your Mom several times. The first was when my 2 sisters and I traveled “back home to Illinois” probably 15 years ago and went looking for homes we had lived in growing up. Your Mom’s home was always “Shriver’s Place” to us and we moved there from the Chicago area when I was just a kid. Seeing her house again after so many years gave us a rush of wonderful memories. Velma was sitting in the sun on the front porch and we introduced ourselves and apologized for intruding as we were taking some pictures from the road. When she realized who our family was she invited us to sit down on the porch. We ended up there for more than an hour telling her stories of growing up there and listening to her stories too. She had quite a sense of humor! We left her with our contact number to share with her family so they would know we weren’t some weird people and got a nice note from her granddaughter some time later. We sent her some photos of that day. It was quite special to us, as was Velma. 4 or 5 years ago I was lucky enough to drive from OK with my husband to show him where I grew up. My brother Jim joined us in showing him the area. To our utter amazement and delight there was Velma and her caregiver enjoying a sunny day on the front porch. At Velma’s invitation we had a nice long visit, got to meet Don & his wife and share more memories and stories. Her caregiver was, I’m sure, a little suspicious of us at first and I can’t say I blamed here. But Velma reassured her we were OK. We have often thought of Velma over the years and how she touched our lives in unexpected ways. We wish we could have known her better but are truly grateful for the time we spent with her. We are so sorry for your loss of such a lovely, lively and important woman in your world. May she rest in peace.

Sandy Streff Beesley 2020-03-17T12:27:25

Don & family
So sorry to hear about your mom. Please know we are keeping you in our prayers and thoughts during this most difficult time. May the good Lord hold you all in his loving arms.

The Daniels family 2020-03-05T12:16:34

You will be missed by all the Homemakers. Who will be there to share your jokes with us? A great lady left and no one can take her place. My sympathy to her family and Valerie Rose, who took such good care of Velma and helped to let her live her final days in her home. Dolores Goeddeke

Dolores Goeddeke 2020-03-05T11:54:22

Dear Catherine, Don and Family, Our thoughts are with you. I always feel you both have your Mom’s incredible spirit and vision—I feel you’re carrying on that perseverance and strength. Be sure to do the polka at upcoming BD’s. Warm regards, Terri Lindmark

Terri Lindmark 2020-03-05T07:27:16

Sorry to hear that your mother has passed away. She was a remarkable woman and will be greatly missed. Such a good example for the grandchildren!

Sorry we can’t be present at the funeral as we out of town at present.

Frank and Barbara Vella

Frank and Barbara Vella 2020-03-05T05:16:57

We are truly sorry to hear about your loss. Your mother was a great woman and she will be truly missed and will always be remembered.

Aleks & Violeta Bekric 2020-03-04T18:11:55

To all of Velma’s family, My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. I got to know her when she stated coming to get her hair done, She loved to tell a joke, and always told me what a nice shop we had. I will miss seeing her and Val.

Susan Dimmick 2020-03-04T17:29:51

Velma sounds like a wonderful mom, grandma, friend and all around inspiring person. Hoping your memories are wonderful…looking forward to many stories of her life

Mary Bauer 2020-03-04T17:19:14

Don, you are the only one of the kids that I know. I met you and your mother 3 or 4 years ago when my sister and her husband came to visit from OK. Your Dad and Her house was the first place we lived when we moved up from the Chicago area. My Dad,Granddad and myself put the barn up from one that your dad and granddad tore down, down there,your Mother had pictures on her wall. It was a great pleasure meeting her and you and having a visit. I am sorry for your loss.

Jim Streff 2020-03-04T14:03:09


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