Richard J. Shelstad, 61, passed away July 2,2013 in Olympia, WA. He was born February 25, 1952 to Lowell and Rhodanne Shelstad in Aberdeen, WA. Richard was raised in Cosmopolis, WA and attended Cosmopolis Grade School, graduating as a "Cosi Termite." He attended and graduated from Weatherwax High School where he lettered in baseball. He attended Fort Steilacoom Community College and received an associate degree in recreation, parks, and leisure services. He then graduated from The Evergreen State College. He went on to the Henry Wendlestat School of Umpiring in Florida. After graduation, he began a rewarding career as a counselor, helping kids of military dependents cope with everyday life without one of their parents. While working in Hawaii for the military, he was given a chance to umpire Pac-10 baseball in 1996-1997 and was given numerous awards for his efforts. Richard came back home and became the leader of the 4-H program at Pierce College, counseling kids at risk locally and in the military. He looked forward to his volunteer work with the Special Olympics. His first love was always baseball. He joined the South Sound Umpires Association and was very instrumental in organizing and setting by-laws, started a training and recruitment program, and was the Sec./Treas. of the league. He was a member in high standing. Thanks to the umpire association for all their efforts and staying close to Richard through his illness. Special thanks to his sister/caregiver "Kimmie" for her dedication to Richard who was her "hero," and special thanks to Stacey Johnson for her help in getting Richard to his exercise classes. He is survived by brothers, Michael Shelstad (Jan), Gene Cooper (Darcel), Jim Cooper (Lilia); and sisters, Kim Nielsen (Dan), Patti Shelstad (Mark), and Becky Shelstad; Aunt Patt; nephews, Michael, Geoffrey, Stephen, Skyler, and Adam; and niece, Vanessa. There will be a celebration of life for Richard July 21, 2013 at the home of his brother Mike between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Call 866-8617 for directions. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Richard Shelstad Memorial Scholarship in care of the South Sound Umpires Association at any Columbia Bank. Please leave memories at www.FuneralAlternatives.org.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in The Olympian on July 14, 2013