‘Every day is a joy to go to work’: Shireman to receive Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for her role at Quincy Police Department

Ruth Bower Shireman

Ruth Bower Shireman has volunteered in the records department for the Quincy Police Department since 2000. | David Adam

QUINCY — Ruth Bower Shireman was a sixth-grade teacher for 27 years before she retired in 1999.

Her retirement, however, never stopped her from working.

Shireman recently learned she is a recipient of a Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, presented by the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. These awards recognize volunteers through a statewide award program to highlight the importance of volunteerism and community service in the State of Illinois. 

The program is in its 13th year. Shireman is one of 20 recipients from five regions in Illinois. She is the AmeriCorps Seniors winner for Region 3. 

Shireman has volunteered in the records department for the Quincy Police Department since 2000, typically working four days a week for about 3½ hours a day. Most of her work is clerical — pulling reports, preparing court dockets and handling dispositions.

“John Douglas, the DARE officer from the Quincy Police Department, taught the DARE program in my school for several years,” Shireman said. “When I retired, I wanted to give back to the Quincy Police Department for all they did for my students.”

She received the Illinois State TRIAD Senior Citizen Volunteer Award in 2007, and she received the Liberty Bell Award in 2019 by the Adams County Bar Association. At that time, Shireman had volunteered more than 14,000 hours since 2000.  

“I will continue volunteering until such time I’m incapable,” Shireman said. “I love what I do and the people I work with. It has always been my belief that we are here to serve and give back to our community. Every day is a joy to go to work.”

Amanda Keck, records supervisor for the Quincy Police Department, says Shireman is invaluable.

“She’s amazing,” Keck said. “She’s got the biggest heart. She’s got the sweetest personality. She would do anything for anybody, and she’s got a great sense of humor. She is a ton of fun.”

Shireman was born and raised in Quincy. She is the mother of eight children. After her youngest child was 1 year old and the oldest was 10, she started attending Quincy College in 1969.  She graduated in 1972 with a degree in elementary education, then later earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Northeast Missouri State University.  

Shireman and her husband, Myrl, have 10 children, 17 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren in their blended family.

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