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In Memoriam

Shirley A. Nesbitt

Shirley Nesbitt

Shirley A. Nesbitt, director of the Catlin Heritage Museum for 13 years, died Thursday, November 21, 2002, at Provena USMC, Logan campus, in Danville, Illinois.

Sara Cast, president of the Catlin Historical Society, praised Shirley's contribution to the growth of the society and the development of the museum.

"She gave her heart and soul to this place," Cast said.

We miss you, Shirley

"History was her specialty and she was able to work doing something she really loved," Cast said. "That was really special for her."

Shirley Nesbitt was born May 26, 1936, in Indianola, the daughter of Clarence and Ethel (Swank) Gardner.

She married John Nesbitt on Dec. 27, 1959, at Georgetown. He survives.

Also surviving are two sons, John "David" (Sandy) Nesbitt of Georgetown and Richard "Douglas" (Lisa) Nesbitt of Burlington, Ind.; a daughter, Nancy Ann (Roger) Burris of Vermilion Grove; seven grandchildren, Chelsea and Haleigh Nesbitt of Georgetown, Lauren and Noah Nesbitt of Burlington, and Bryant, Megan, and Danielle Burris of Vermilion Grove.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Early in her life, Shirley had taught school in Ridge Farm, Danville and Indianola. That teaching experience carried over into her museum work, particularly in teaching the school children who visited the museum about the history of Catlin. "She loved doing it," Cast said.

"Shirley always said when she started as director of the museum, she had a desk, a chair and two file drawers in the kitchen of the museum house," Cast recalls. The directors office is now in the annex, a small building behind the museum, where donated items are professionally cataloged and stored for inclusion in revolving displays.

"Where we are now, it's amazing," Cast said. "She brought the museum a long way."

Shirley Nesbitt was a member of the First Church of Christ in Georgetown, the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society, Old Town Preservation and the Antiquarians.

In addition to history and genealogy, she enjoyed collectibles, auctions, painting and reading.

Funeral services were held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, November 25, 2002, at Houghton-Leasure Funeral Home in Georgetown. Edwin Ross, a friend of the family, officiated.

Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery in Indianola.

Visitation was held from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 24, 2002, at the funeral home.

The family has suggested that memorials be directed to the Catlin Historical Society or to a charity of the donor's choice.


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 Ron Smoot

 Debra Jean Faust

 Willis Williams

 Jim Gill

 Chelsea Nesbitt


 Melinda Hall


Catlin Historical Society
210 North Paris
Catlin, Illinois 61817
(217) 427-5766