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Richard Shell

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RICHARD JAMES SHELL May 20 1955 ~ May 13 2011 Richard James Shell was born in Fullerton, California, to Jim and Barbara Shell. Rich was part of a big loving family including his brother Don, his sisters Kathy, Debbie and Janet, his brothers-in-law Tim, Terry, and Kenny, and many more aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces, as well as the neighborhood family he grew up with on Wanda Drive in Fullerton California. Rich graduated from Sunny Hills High School in 1973 while already working in a machine shop. Rich loved to build things, especially from metal. Rich was truly gifted in mechanical design, and in 1990 his 3 major strong points on his employee evaluation form stated that he had excellent conceptual talents, that he understood processes thoroughly, and that he was most competent. That truly summed up Rich, whether he was designing and building equipment for use by the U.S. Defense Department, or he was machining a part for his van conversion or maybe fixing some rock climbing equipment that would be used in the weekend recreation that weekend. Everybody who knew Rich knew he could figure out how to build or fix just about anything. Rich married Monica Lucas in 1983 and they had their first and only child, a son, Jon Maxwell on December 2 of that year. Rich and Monica stayed busy those years with T-ball, soccer and music, all the childhood things a boy needed. Rich continued to work at Cartwright Electronics in Fullerton, California. Rich was the guy in the company that could explain the concepts and manufacturing to the Pentagon Generals that came from Washington, DC to check on the contract. Rich loved working in this very high tech environment, and part of the Space Station up in the sky right now has physical pieces that Rich machined. In 2002 Monica got the opportunity to transfer to the Eureka office of Caltrans so Rich retired at 45. He spent his days on the North Coast hiking, biking, birdwatching, and walking on the beach collecting sea glass. He loved feeding his hummingbirds at home. Rich cooked some extraordinary meals. He spent time with his son working on vehicles, bikes, or whatever needed fixing. He found new friends and amazed them designing and building motorcycle and car parts like Chevy Bow-Tie tail light for a custom show car. Rich built many small working engines during his life. Some were mini steam engines, one sits on a hot cup of coffee and just starts turning. Rich designed and built his own adaptation of the Harley V-Twin Fire-breather. It sits about 6" high and runs on alcohol. Tequila is good. It sounds just like a Harley. Rich loved living on Fickle Hill...the clouds looking so mysterious and the rain here. He loved the storms, and he absolutely loved the Redwoods. He loved the crash of the ocean. While sitting in the spa in one of our lovely clear nights, Rich would delight in seeing that Space Station track across the sky. That was one of many accomplishment that made Rich such an awesome guy. Rich was one of a kind. He was the absolute best husband and father, son, and brother, he loved, and was truly loved and cherished while on this earth. He was taken by a Glioblastoma multiforma primary brain tumor. He was active and loving life until a month before his death. He died in the ICU of Mercy Hospital, Redding, California with his family around him. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Services will be private.
Published in Press-Enterprise on May 23, 2011
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