Carbondale – Shirley Dillinger Booker, 81, passed away on Thursday, September 8, 2016 in DeSoto. Shirley was born August 13, 1935 the daughter of Raymond and Reon (Robinson) Dillinger.
Shirley was a member of Grace Methodist Church in Carbondale. In her youth, she worked as a telephone operator, at the SIU bursar’s office, later as a court bailiff and also an administrative assistant at the Jackson County Sheriff’s office. She was appointed Jackson County Treasurer in 1976, and won every election for that office, until she voluntarily retired in 2014. This made her one of the longest serving county officials in the history of the State of Illinois.
During her time as Treasurer, she served as President of the Illinois Treasurer’s Association, and President of the Illinois Association of County Officials. She was also Zone President. She started the yearly Andrew Jackson Democrat Dinner and coordinated the event for many years. She served in the Jackson County Historical Society and the City of Carbondale Preservation Commission for many years as well. In later years, she was the Financial Officer of the Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training Program (Mobile Training Unit 15), from January 2011 to December 2014. Those who knew her well commented that she “loved being a public servant” and “always tried to help anyone who came into her office.” Shirley was blessed with great employees in her office, including her right and left hands, Chief Deputy Treasurer, Meredith Ehlers and Administrative Assistant, Dana (Thompson) Smith.
Shirley was united in marriage to Edward Wayne Booker on August 29, 1954 in Carbondale and he preceded her in death on February 16, 2001. She was also preceded in death by her father, Raymond Dillinger, on January 28, 1976, then her mother, Reon (Robinson) Dillinger on May 16, 2006.
Shirley is survived by her son, Bruce Booker (Shirley Page) of Anna; grandson, Matthew Booker of Carbondale; brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Sue Dillinger of Colorado; niece, Elizabeth Dillinger and husband Casey Rountree of Colorado; nephew, Christopher Dillinger and wife Michele of California; step-brothers, Vernon Gerber of Aurora and Don and spouse Sherry Gerber of Champaign and their families; several cousins; lifelong friend, Doris Brown and husband Glen of Carbondale; former daughter-in-law Jill Booker; and Shirley’s friend Joe Hughes of De Soto.
A kind-hearted gem of a person, dearly loved by her family and a dedicated public servant, Shirley Booker will be sorely missed.
Funeral service for Shirley will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale with Reverend In-sook Hwang officiating. Burial will follow in Dillinger Cemetery in Carbondale. A time of public visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Memorials are the preferred form of remembrance and may be made to Dillinger Cemetery. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.