Column: Gracious. Proper. Proud to serve. Goodbye to Shirley Stratton, former first lady of Illinois

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Mrs. Stratton, who died Aug. 28, grew up as Shirley Breckenridge, the youngest of three children, in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Her parents divorced when she was a baby and her father died soon afterward. Shortly after high school, she went to work as an executive assistant at an insurance company, a job she reminisced about even when she was much older.