Evelyn Joan Shilts, 83, of South Bend, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on Friday May 15, 2020. She was born on May 19, 1936, in Plymouth, IN, to N. Welcome and Lois M (Ranstead) Norris.
She graduated in 1954 from Tyner High School, Tyner, IN where she excelled in playing the saxophone for which many awards were won. Including being the first young woman from Tyner to win at State Competition.
On August 18, 1960, Evelyn married Thomas W. Shilts and they were blessed with six children. She is survived by a daughter, Susan (John) Frank of Farmington, UT; four sons, Gregory (Tanya) Shilts of Fairgrove, MO, Steven (Reita) Shilts of Indianapolis, IN, Michael (Gina) Shilts of New Carlisle and James (Sabrina) Shilts of Chesapeake, VA; twelve grandchildren, four great grandchildren, two brothers, William (Vickie) Norris and Roger (Wanda) Norris, both of Plymouth; and many nieces and nephews. She was a strong woman having lost her loving husband in 1984, the focus of her life became raising her six children. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her eldest son Jeffrey J. Shilts, her sister Mary Ann Norris and her niece Madonna L Pierce-McGuire. Evelyn worked as an Admitting Clerk for Memorial Hospital, South Bend for 26 years where she made many lifelong friends and later retired on August 17, 2005. She was a lifelong parishioner of St. John the Baptist Church, where she served as the organist for many years.
Evelyn had a love for music and the outdoors. She was very talented on the saxophone, piano, organ and the accordion. Her favorite place to be was in her yard, her little piece of Heaven on earth, watching and listening to the birds. She loved the seasons, especially spring when she could search for one of her favorite delicacies; wild mushrooms.
She moved to South Bend two days after HS graduation and she lived life to the fullest. Her motto was "Life to me has always been an adventure. Don't be afraid to venture out from your roots. There is so much territory and ventures to embark upon. New Friends, new customs of living and an adventure in itself. Try it-you will love it." Her smile was contagious. She will be missed dearly but will live on in our memories.
The Family would like to thank the nurses and aides at Center for Hospice who administered the most loving care to our Sweet Mother during her last months.
Visitation will be from 11 to 1 p.m. Tuesday May 26, 2020 at the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Dr., South Bend. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, 3526 St. Johns Way, South Bend. Burial will conclude at Highland Cemetery, South Bend. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545-5234. To send online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com.