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Aline H. Shotts, age 96, of Galesburg, died at 3:35 P.M. on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at her home, surrounded by her loved ones.
On October 13, 1925, Aline was born at her family home near Supply, Arkansas, to Hershel Bishop and Bertha Agnes (Cox) Gilbert, the seventh of their ten children. She spent many of her formative years in Arkansas during the Great Depression and graduated from Oquawka High School in Oquawka, Illinois with the class of 1943. Aline married Samuel Charles Shotts on July 14, 1949, in Monmouth, Illinois. He preceded her in death on November 22, 2010. She worked as a clerk for Levenberg Grocery for a time, until opening the East Losey Street Market in 1964 with her husband, Sam, which they operated for around ten years in the Swedish neighborhood known as “Monkeytown.”
Left to cherish Aline’s memory are her two sons: Samuel (and Elizabeth) Shotts of Highland Village, Texas, Steven (and Cyndi) Shotts of Galesburg; one brother, Chester (and Sharon) Gilbert of Petersburg, Illinois; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and extended family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of sixty-one years, four brothers, and four sisters.
Aline will be remembered for her lifelong dedication to helping others, especially children and the elderly. She was the first woman to be elected and serve as alderman on the Galesburg City Council from 1979 to 1982, representing the 7th Ward. She was also a founding member of the OAKS Senior Center and served four terms as President. Due to her perseverance and enthusiasm for bettering her beloved community, the bridge on Farnham Street in Galesburg was named in her honor. Aline advocated for the establishment of the concrete bridge prior to its completion in 1976 to replace the wooden bridge constructed by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. She enjoyed making quilts and had many stories of fishing at the Mississippi River with her brothers and sisters. Aline was a devoted and caring wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend and she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Cremation rites will be accorded. Private family burial will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery in Galesburg. A Celebration of Aline’s Life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the OAKS Senior Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Watson Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences may be made through www.watsonthomas.com.