Mrs. Shirlee Jo Sandborg, 85, of Galesburg, IL, died 4:21 p.m. Monday, June 8, 2020, at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, in Peoria, IL.
Shirlee was born on August 4, 1934 in Johnson County, IL, the daughter of Charles A. J. and Mabel (Koonce) Myers. She graduated from Galesburg Sr. High School in 1952, and married C. Richard (Dick) Sandborg in 1952. He preceded her in death November 1, 1991.
She is survived by a son, Dr. Jeffrey R. Sandborg (Marianne) of Roanoke, Virginia, daughter Dr. Rebecca R. Sandborg of Rochester, Michigan, and daughter Tara E. Sandborg of Bonfield, Illinois; two granddaughters, Danielle Lepar of Lansing, Michigan and Katherine Lepar of West Bloomfield, Michigan, a sister, Patricia Avelar (Dennis) of Hurricane, West Virginia; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Shirlee is preceded in death by her parents, a son, Rex J. Sandborg, and a son-in-law, Bruce Spencer.
She was blessed by a wide circle of cherished friends, many of them lifelong.
Among them, Gary Dalegowski, Pat Simpson, Dr. James and Mary King, Brenda Spencer, Fred and Twyla Pickard, and the “Bridge Club” members, just to name a few.
Shirlee dedicated her life to healthcare, enjoying a fifty year career, advancing in positions in the clinical laboratory. She began working while still a teenager at the laboratory in St. Mary’s hospital, in downtown Galesburg, and at the laboratory at Galesburg Research Hospital. She later went on to work in the Galesburg Cottage Hospital Laboratory, the Medical Arts Clinic Laboratory, and the Galesburg Clinic Laboratory. At the Galesburg Clinic, her career spanned many years and many titles: Medical Technologist; Clinical Laboratory Supervisor, Manager, and Technical Advisor; Director of Clinical Studies, and Director of Regulatory Compliance.
In pursuit of excellence in the Medical Technology field, Shirlee obtained numerous professional certifications, attended Carl Sandburg and Knox Colleges, and completed University of Kansas Medical Technology and Center for Disease Control courses.
Her work was simply one of her greatest passions in life. She took great care and pride in ensuring the highest quality and accuracy in every detail of her work. She was once quoted as saying: “I loved my job. I loved helping people. I loved every day I went to work.”
Shirlee equally loved to teach. She worked with the Knox College Biology and Chemistry Department Internship Programs as a Preceptor/Instructor – serving as a mentor for many future careers in science.
Shirlee was also involved in many community activities and held several leadership roles in conjunction with her participation. She was a lifelong member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church parish. She was a member of the Corpus Christi Altar and Rosary Society, St. Mary’s Medical Center Auxiliary, and had also served as treasurer and board member of the Galesburg Community Chorus, of which she was a proud and enthusiastic member before a decline in health curtailed her involvement.
Shirlee served as President, Secretary and Board Member of the HIV/Task Force of Western Illinois. Alongside these capacities, she created the “Red Ribbon Classic” an AIDS awareness and assistance 5K walk/run. She was Co-Chairperson of the Galesburg Area Muscular Dystrophy Association. She worked tirelessly for these causes.
As a reflection of her dedication and commitment to work and community, she was the recipient of many professional and civic awards throughout her career including, but not limited to, Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Achievement in Laboratory Medicine: International Society for Clinical Laboratory Technology (ISCLT), Presidential Award: Illinois ISCLT, and Philanthropic Award: Galesburg Association for Mentally Retarded Citizens.
In addition to her professional pursuits, Shirlee enjoyed reading, book-editing, music, fiber crafts, and travel. Above all, she most delighted in spending time with her many cherished friends and family members, with whom she was blessed throughout her long and distinguished life.
Due to social distancing from the COVID 19 pandemic, a drive-through visitation will be 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 20, 2020 at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Service Galesburg Chapel. A private memorial service will follow the visitation at the chapel. Friends and family may watch the service on Facebook Live on Hinchliff-Pearson-West Facebook Page at 11:30 a.m. A private Funeral Mass will be held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church followed by a private burial in St. Joseph Cemetery in Galesburg on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
Memorials may be made to Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 273 S Prairie St, Galesburg, IL 61401.
Online condolences and expressions of sympathy may be made at h-p-w.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mrs. Shirlee Jo (Myers) Sandborg, please visit our floral store.
Corpus Christi Catholic Church