Shirley Joann King

July 8, 1932 - March 13, 2017
Resided in Elk Grove, CA


King, Shirley Joann

Beloved Gramma to many, our dear Shirley joined her Savior and the heavenly choir on March 13, 2017. She loved Jesus and her family, often remarking how happy and blessed she was to be a part of their lives. She was so proud of her family. She is survived by her son, Charles Richesin, and wife, Grace, son, Dean Richesin, and wife, Karen, daughter, Suzanne, and husband, Kevin, six grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Born July 8, 1932, in Fort Scott, Kansas, she moved at age 4 to Stockton, California, where she later graduated from University of Pacific in 1960. Her teaching career began at Needham School in Lodi followed by four years at Galt High School. When her family moved to Hawaii, she taught for ten years there, earning the honor of High School Teacher of the Year in 1966.
Shirley was an executive assistant in the oil industry in Midland, Texas for seven years. She would later find a career that matched her love of traveling when she joined the Ivaran Cruise Lines where she was the entertainer, hostess, and activities director aboard the M/V Americana, the world's only freighter cruiser, from 1989-2000.
Following a lifetime of volunteering, Shirley founded her own nonprofit in 2004, Gramma's Hugs International. For thirteen years she and her Hugs Helpers made and distributed thousands of blankets to children around the world. She also made hundreds of local donations to shelters, hospitals, and schools. Knitting, crocheting, and sewing were hobbies for her and she used them to benefit others.
Traveling the world was more than a hobby for Shirley. Her passion for history, travel and adventure was exceptional. She toured 84 countries on 6 continents with extensive trips to Asia, Central, South, and North America, and Europe. She had amazing stories about her treks to the Holy Land, Machu Picchu, the Amazon Jungle, and the Far East.
Known by many for her incredible musical talent, Shirley loved playing the piano and singing soprano. She accompanied countless weddings and special events along with being the key musician for many churches over the years. She was thankful for her God-given talent and loved sharing it.
Shirley loved family gatherings and her radiant smile beamed as she watched the younger ones mingle, talk and play. Though all who knew her will greatly miss her, she will live on in our memories and cherished in our hearts.
An informal celebration of Shirley's life will be held at graveside on Sunday, March 26 at 1:00 pm at East Lawn Elk Grove. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to St. John's Shelter for Women and Children.


East Lawn Elk Grove Memorial Park
9189 E. Stockton Blvd
Elk Grove, CA US 95624
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