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Merle "Ginger" Shillito

September 17, 1967 ~ June 28, 2018 (age 50)

Merle "Ginger" Shillito, of Birmingham, AL., passed away on June 28, 2018, a too short, but beautifully full life. She was preceded in death by her father, James B. Forbes, Sr.;brother, James B. Forbes,  Jr., and grandmother, Merle W. Bowen.

Ginger was a graduate of Homewood High School and Galen College of Nursing in St. Petersburg, Florida. As a registered nurse she had most recently been serving the community in Hospice Care. She was very passionate about helping families cope with the end of life process and supported the families and patients emotionally and medically during the final stages of life. Beyond nursing, Ginger was always helping others and loved to spend time with family and friends. Everyone will always remember the energy she exhibited about life and her infectious smile.

Ginger was cared for during this time by her loving and devoted wife, Carla Van Den Elzen. They spent many years as friends first and enjoyed the last two years as a couple. Together they had built a beautiful life and had made plans to travel the country together. Ginger shared with Carla her love of Kayaking, Gardening, Music, and her many D.I.Y. home projects. 

Ginger's guiding hope in life was that she would make a positive impact on all her family, friends and patients. Everyone would agree that this hope was most definitely met. Ginger was a special ray of light in the world who will be missed. May Peace be with her and all that she touched forever.

Ginger is survived by her wife, Carla Van Den Elzen; mother, Merle Elise Woods; father, Robert Woods; brother-in-law, Scott Caldwell;step-brothers, Robert Woods and Brian Woods; and parents by marriage, Richard and LaDonna Herring. Also many more family and friends.

Special thanks to Ginger's dear friend Christy Burch and the entire staff of Compassus Hospice Unit.

Arrangements to celebrate her life will be announced at a later date. 

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