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Of Tidewater Drive, Orlando, FL, passed away on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at home with his family at his side after a short illness. He lived a life guided by selflessness, grace, and humility. He loved his family, enjoyed being active, and in his later years you could find him on the golf course or gardening. Shemelya, 87, was born in Ambridge, PA, and was predeceased in death by his parents, George and Mary; sister, Helen. He is survived by his brother, Michael (Eleanor) of Mesa, AZ; his wife of 56 years, Phyllis Kloecker; his sons, John Edward "Ed" (Reda) of London, KY, George Michael "Mike" (Jane) of Windermere, FL, J. Alan of Orlando, FL; his daughter, Mary (Tip) Mitchell, Cullman, AL; and his grandchildren, Wendi (Bill) Dizney, Jezami (Eric) Long, Shannon and Geoffrey Mitchell, Michael, Daniel, Bradley, and Kalea Shemelya; two great-grandchildren, Brailey and Brookz Dizney; and a number of loving nieces and nephews. He grew-up in Ambridge, PA and was a first generation American proudly serving in WWII. He was a decorated WWII veteran receiving two Bronze Stars, American Theater Ribbon, for combat fighting in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. A local high school basketball star in the Greater Pittsburgh area he resumed his playing after his service to his country, as a standout starter for all four years at Eastern Kentucky University, in Richmond, KY. A passion for teaching and sports, he made it his career and started teaching at William & Mary and created a path that eventually brought him to Central Florida in the late 1960's. He taught and coached at all levels and thoroughly enjoyed running into his former students. He retired from teaching in the early 80's after 34 years of service here in Florida and began his second career in golf working at both Bay Hill and Isleworth. He would always say, "It is better to have the richness of love of your family than money". The family will receive friends on Friday, February 1 from 1 - 3 p.m. at Baldwin Fairchild - Lake Ivanhoe Chapel. Funeral Services immediately following at 3 p.m. with Military Honor Burial at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Winter Park, FL.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Jan. 31, 2013
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