Cover photo for Shirley "Joan" (Derry)  Little's Obituary
Shirley "Joan" (Derry)  Little Profile Photo
1931 Shirley 2021

Shirley "Joan" (Derry) Little

October 19, 1931 — June 5, 2021

Mrs. Shirley “Joan” (Derry) Little of Marion, Illinois, passed away at age 89, of natural causes at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Vickie Little in Franklin, Kentucky on June 5th, 2021.

She was born on October 19th, 1931 in Astoria, Illinois, the first-born of Willis and Doris (Welker) Derry.  She graduated from Astoria High School in 1949 and later married Phillip L. Little of Astoria on November 19th, 1952.  The couple soon welcomed two sons, “Michael Alan” and “Ronald Willis”.

Sewing was always a part of Joan’s life, beginning with projects for home and friends and later growing into a full-time career.  She was a skilled tailor and longtime alterations seamstress for Joyce’s Bridal Boutique in Marion, eventually managing the shop as well.  Her sewing services were never advertised, yet word-of-mouth referrals spoke of her capabilities to alter ready made garments or fabricate custom outfits for any occasion.  Customer confidence led to her working with a steady stream of wedding dresses, prom gowns, pageant wear, costumes, uniforms, and more.  A particular joy for Joan was outfitting the Marion High School Dance Team for many years.

Joan Loved life and spending time with family and friends and was a longtime member of Third Baptist Church in Marion, living out her faith there for 40+ years.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and sister Carolyn Pearl Anderson, and is survived by sons: Mike (Vickie) of Franklin, KY and Ron (Penny) of Lexington, KY; grandchildren:  Stephen (Jenn) Little of Sylmar, CA, Elizabeth (Nick) Cook of Franklin, KY, and Katherine (Jeff) Jenkins of Richmond, KY; great-grandchildren:  Michael, Evelyn, Anna, and Daniel Little and Tucker and Melody Cook;  sisters:  Barbara Jean Hamm of Ipava, IL, Marilee Griffin of Aurora, OH, and Donna Layne of Peoria, IL.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 10th, at 2:00 PM, at Wilson-Reynolds Funeral Home in Marion, IL to be followed by a family graveside burial service later in the fall in Astoria, IL.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Hospice of Southern Kentucky, Inc. 5872 Scottsville Road, Bowling Green, KY. 42104.

Online condolences can be offered through Gilbert Funeral Home & Crematory, Franklin, KY, at or through Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home, Marion, IL at

Gilbert Funeral Home & Crematory website is  The Facebook page is Gilbert Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc.  The obituary phone line is 270-586-8844.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley "Joan" (Derry) Little, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home

900 North Court Street, Marion, IL 62959


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