DIXON — Sharon U. Thompson, age 77, of Dixon died October 3, 2019. Sharon was born in Sublette, on Jan. 7, 1942, the daughter of Elmer C. and Ruth Reid Underhile. She graduated from Amboy High School in 1960 and earned a Degree in Marketing from Sauk Valley Community College.
She married James Thompson on May 13, 1961. She later married Wendell Snell on April 25, 2003, who survives her. She had two children, Angela Thompson Pate and her daughter Helen; and Robert (Michelle) Thompson and their children Spencer and Solis, Dixon; and two step-children, Linda Koepke, Morrison; and Laura (Jim) Dobbins, Cordova, Tenn.; nine grandchildren in all; two great-grandchildren; her sisters Beverly Beams, Tiskilwa; Joyce U. Gibson, Dixon; Jane U. Miles, Oregon and two brothers who predeceased her, Lester C. (Laura) Underhile, Dixon and Calvin T. Underhile.
In 1972, “Sharon U.” was elected to the Lee County Board. In 1974, she was elected Lee County Treasurer, the first Democrat in Lee County to be elected county treasurer and the third Democrat to hold county office in the history of Lee County. She served 20 years as Lee County Treasurer and was the first Lee County Treasurer to invest county funds in interest-bearing accounts. She earned over ten million dollars in interest for the citizens of Lee County.
Sharon was elected President of the Illinois County Treasurers’ Association in 1982/83, and was named “Treasurer of the Year” by her peers in 1987. She was elected President of the Illinois Association of County Officials in 1989-90.
Sharon was selected as the Sauk Valley Community College (SVCC) Outstanding Alumna of the Year, 1992. She was elected to the SVCC Board of Trustees in 1996; elected to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) in 1992-94; elected again as annuitant Trustee for IMRF in 2000 where she served until her death. In 1995, Sharon was selected by the Governor of Illinois to serve on the Property Tax Appeal Board and was a realtor-broker for Burke Realty for 20 years.
She was selected by the Illinois Democratic State Central Committee to be an Alternate Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984, elected Alternate in 1988, served as a volunteer to the Convention in 1996 and elected as Delegate in 2004. In 1998, she was the recipient of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Leadership Award from the Illinois Democratic Women’s Association.
Sharon was a member of the First Baptist Church, active in many community affairs, including Say No to Drugs. Board member of the American Cancer Society and Reach to Recovery Coordinator, Charter member Ambassador’s Club, Dixon Chamber of Commerce; Dixon Area United Way, Dixon Rotary Club, Tax Counseling for the Elderly, Dixon Public Library board member, Dixon Riverfront Commission, Illinois Lottery Control Board and was a charter member Sauk Valley Community College Endowment Fund, along with several other charitable organizations.
A memorial will be established with Sauk Valley Community College Foundation to benefit single mother scholarships.
Visitation is Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Jones Funeral Home from 3 to 7p.m., and a Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Dixon Elks Lodge at 10:30 a.m. with interment at Chapel Hill, Dixon. Immediately thereafter a lunch will be served at Dixon Elks Lodge. Condolences may be sent online at www.thejonesfh.com.