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Shirley May Thom

July 8, 1924 – April 30, 2021

Born July 8, 1924 and died on April 30, 2021. Shirley was also known as “Nanny” or “Nanny Shirley”.

She is preceded in death by parents, Bessie & Otto Klober; sister, Dolores; brother, Roger; beloved husband, Arthur; and son, Richard.

We lost an amazing woman. Strong, independent, loving, kind, and the matriarch of our family. These were some of the qualities that made her so dear to us.

She had such beautiful cursive writing, and wrote two self- published books about herself and her family. She wrote many letters to the editor, while collecting comic strips and newspaper articles, which she mailed to friends and family.

She worked at MN Chemical, Northwest Airlines, and as a teacher’s aide at Groveland Park School. In her later life, “90”, she volunteered at Como Zoo, which clearly became her favorite job of all.

She loved family camping, summer trips to the farm in South Carolina and going to Myrtle Beach. Her gumdrop dish was always full, and she insisted on putting butter on all her sandwiches. She loved birds, nature, and her backyard with all the deer and wild turkeys. She had a gift for gab and never met a stranger that she didn’t act like she’d known forever. She nurtured friendships, had a generous spirit, and wanted everyone to feel welcomed and loved. She touched so many people.

She was a pioneer ahead of her time. A beautiful example of how God calls us to love and accept all people. She was very open minded to non-traditional families. She had strong faith in God, love of family and saw the good in everyone.

She met the love of her life, Artie when she was 13 and he was 15. She took the train at age 18 by herself from MN to Florida, where Artie was stationed with the Navy, to meet him at Fort Pierce for their wedding. These are stories that will go with all our memories, too numerous to mention.

Many thanks to the Lyngblomsten & Allina Hospice caregivers for providing love, care and compassion near the end of her life.

She is survived by her children, Linda (Jack), Pam (Frank), and Dan (Jen); grandchildren, Chad (Misti), Jenny (Mike), Michelle, Matt (Kavita), Jeremy (Swati), Amy (Matt), Keri, Kristy and Kim; and great-grandchildren, Brennan (Lexi), Caleb (Shelby), Eli, Joel, Jason, Sara, Michael, Lucas, Miranda, Maya, Naveen, Nathan, Noah, Ella, Quinn, Ethan and Calvin.

There will be a private family service and interment.


A public Celebration of Life will be held in the summer.


Memorials preferred to Como Friends or Emmaus Lutheran Church.

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