133 Mason St., Onalaska, WI • Call (608) 788-2188


Shirley A. Halonen

April 18, 2022 | 3 comments

Shirley A. Halonen, 80, passed away from cancer on April 8, 2022 at her home near Melrose, WI.

Shirley was born on October 17, 1941 to Dave and Florence Halonen. She attended the West Indies grade school, Melrose Junior High School, and graduated from Melrose High School with the class of 1959. After graduation she was employed in St. Paul, MN and Rockford, IL.

She married Edward Bilberry in Rockford and they later divorced. Shirley returned to Melrose with her daughter Dawn and lived at her childhood home with her mother whom she cared for until her mother’s death.

Shirley was employed for 35 years at Northern Engraving in Sparta. She enjoyed raising Arabian horses for 20 years, a hobby she shared with her daughter. She also enjoyed painting wildlife art, which she had a talent for; her ministry work, playing guitar, and the years she was able to go on daily walks with her friends enjoying the beauty of nature. Shirley treasured her family and friends, as they did her.

She is survived by her daughter Dawn Erickson, Melrose, her brother Robert Halonen (Lois) on Oneida; her sister Eleanor Bourgeois of Marquette, MI; her granddaughters, Heather Erickson, Sparta; Ashley Erickson, Sparta and nieces and nephew and friends, and last but not least, her beloved cat “Sweetie”. She was preceded in death by her parents, and a brother-in-law Cliff Bourgeois.

An excerpt from her letter to classmates at their 50th class reunion says it best. “Although I live alone, I am not lonely when I can go outside and witness all the beauty around us. I am a country girl and I love country life and I love where I live”.

Shirley was a member of the Sparta congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

A Celebration of Life for Shirley will be held on May 14, 2022 at “The Gathering Place” 133 Mason St, Onalaska, WI. Visitation will be held from Noon to 2:00 p.m. with services at 2:00 p.m. A luncheon will follow the service.

Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.

Her funeral may be viewed live via zoom from the link below.  You feed will start 15 minutes before the service. You will need to download zoom in order to use their service.  Please click the link below to join us at 1:45 pm on Saturday May 14, 2022.







  1. Mike Paulson

    So sorry for your loss. Prayers to all of you.🙏❤️

  2. Jeannine Notz

    To all of Shirley’s family and friends: I’m so sorry for all the loss you’re dealing with. Shirley has been in my life since I was a baby, so it’s hard for me to process that she’s not here with us now. Most of my life, I called her “Grandma Shirley”. It started as an inside joke, but ended up being the endearing way I referred to her. I loved her personality and sense of humor. She was my mom’s best friend, and they shared a common love of horses and country life. I remember being a tiny kid at her house, back when Florence was still alive, and teenage Dawn was rocking her trendy 80’s style and big dangling earrings! I got to spend so much time with Shirley’s beautiful granddaughters, Heather and Ashley, when they were little. I cherish all the wonderful memories of Shirley and her family. I really love her, and appreciate all the time we spent together while I was growing up, and on into my adult life. I’m grateful for her strong faith in her God Jehovah. May he bring us all back together again in his due time!
    Much love to everyone!

  3. Renee Muraski

    I can’t put into words what Shirley meant to me. She was closer than a sister, and we did so many things together. She was my confidant, my ‘go to’ person when i needed someone to share my feelings with. We’d often do that, and sometimes the conversation would start on a sad note, but we’d both be laughing before we finished sharing our thoughts. We were close for about 40 years, and we did a lot of ‘horsing’ around. She liked going on adventures with my family, and we spent a great deal of time doing outdoor activities. She will always be in my heart, and when we see each other again; the world will be a beautiful place, the way it was originally made. We will both be very happy there! Thanks to our God Jehovah!


Submit a Comment

Important: Condolences are approved before being posted. Condolences are not private, but viewable to the public.

Your email address will not be published.

Let's Celebrate Life Together

Call or send a message using the buttons below...
Call (608) 788-2188Send a Message