Melissa J. Shirley

    • Service Date

      Celebration of Life for Melissa

      Tuesday, April 2, 2024

    • Service Time

      4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

    • Service Location

      The Venue at 1885

      290 N. Clinton Street, Breese, IL 62230

    • Full Obituary

      Melissa "Missy" Shirley, nee Brickeen, age 51, of Breese, passed away peacefully Friday, March 29, 2024 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  She was born April 28, 1972 in Belleville, a daughter of the late, Sharon, nee Patterson, and Edward Brickeen Sr.


      In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jerry “Smokey” and Wilma Shirley; and loving daughter, Megan Victory.


      Melissa is survived by her husband, Terry Shirley; her children, Christopher (Ana) Brickeen, Steven (Jesse) Shirley, Jerrid (Donna) Shirley, Kristine (Brandon) Shirley, Haley (Justin) Guttersohn, Kylr Shirley, and Ambryn Shirley; grandchildren, Emmalee, Peyton, Braylen, Carter, Kaidyn, Logan, Ryan, Kaelyn, Sadie, Kambraley, and Jordyn; siblings, Michele (Russel) Huelsmann, Julie (Brian) Heckenkemper, Carrie (Jacob) White, and Edward Brickeen Jr.; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Linda (James) Jones, Louise (Steve) Richter, Jennifer Shirley (fiancé Doug Benzschawel), and Patty (Steve) Kozuszek; and numerous nieces, nephews, and so many special friends.


      Melissa married Terry Shirley on March 19, 1991 and together they built a beautiful life of 33 years in Illinois with their 8 children and 11 grandchildren. Throughout the chaos of having a large family, Melissa remained an exemplary mother and human being. She always emphasized the importance of family and her love for them showed in everything she did.


      In a word, Melissa was curious and her inquisitiveness and keen intellect drove all her pursuits. Her passion was writing. She wrote countless books and was an editor to some of her favorite author friends. Melissa was big hearted and vibrant, and radiated light and it shined through her writing.


      She was a private and quiet person, but also very witty and fun! She was fierce and independent, yet sensitive and incredibly compassionate, and if you needed her, she was there. She carried herself with dignity, strength, and full of love for those she knew she was leaving behind. Her love and light will not be something any of us will ever forget.


      A celebration of life for Melissa will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at The Venue at 1885 (290 N. Clinton Street, Breese, IL).


      Her departure comes with great sorrow and a deep wound, and it is gravely felt by her entire family and countless others who loved her deeply. In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated as this will reduce the financial burden of a single income with two young teenagers. The family appreciates your support during this difficult time and asks that you make contributions by checks made payable to Terry Shirley or utilizing the Venmo @rememberingmissy. If you wish to donate in any other way, they may be mailed to the funeral home, Moss Funeral Home, 535 N. 5th St. Breese, IL 62230, who is serving the family.

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