Theresa Velda (Simon) Shinners of Madison, Wisconsin, died on June 16, 2022, at the age of 90. Theresa was born on January 22, 1932, in Gueydan, Louisiana. She was the fourth of nine children of an Acadian-French (Cajun) family. Her parents, Alexandre and Odeide (nee Leblanc) Simon were cotton sharecroppers in southern Louisiana.
Theresa was very proud of her Cajun heritage and was a lifelong student of its language, food, music, and traditions. In search of the linguistic roots of her ancestors, she traveled to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada, and the Poitou Region of western France.
Theresa married Carl W. Shinners in 1954 and moved with her family to Whitewater, WI in 1965. In 1976, she earned a bachelor's degree from UW-Whitewater in Education and taught French and Spanish for many years at Delavan-Darien High School.
Theresa was an active part of the Whitewater university community and St Patrick's Catholic Church. She volunteered with Catholic Services, using her language skills to serve the Hispanic community in Palmyra, WI.
After her retirement, she moved to Madison where she continued her teaching vocation as a substitute teacher in the public schools. She was a long-time and dedicated volunteer of the Friends of Sequoya Library; customers will remember her from the monthly book sales. She also was an active member of area French-speaking clubs.
Theresa was an eager consumer of world and U.S. political news. She wanted very much to vote in the upcoming November 2022 elections. In her memory, her family encourages friends and family to exercise their precious right to vote in every election.
Theresa is survived by her children Catherine Shinners of Palo Alto, CA, Kevin Shinners (Amy) of Madison, and Theresa Shinners-Gray (Greg) of New Auburn, WI, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren, and three sisters, Genevieve (Jean) Dartez, San Diego, CA, Mary David, Jennings, LA, and Ethelyn Adams, Morse, LA.
A service of remembrance will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friends of Sequoya Library and sent to Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd, Madison, WI 53711.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison