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Georgette Shelden


1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
GEORGETTE SHELDEN August 4, 1924 to March 27, 2017, age 92 On Monday, March 27, 2017 at 11:55 am, Georgette Berthe Shelden peacefully passed away after a long and fulfilling life to join her beloved husband Ken in travels to new horizons. Georgette leaves behind 3 children; Alan (69), Galen (66) and Karen (59). Georgette was born on August 4, 1924 in Grenoble, France; located at the foot of the French Alps. Georgette was one of seven children to Louis and Berthe Rocher. Shortly after Georgette's birth, the family of 9 moved to the town of Valence in southeastern France. Growing up, Georgette was very close to the Catholic Church. She one day wanted to fulfill her dream of becoming a nun to help those less fortunate. During her teenage years Georgette's life dramatically changed with the death of her father and the rise of Hitler's Nazi Germany bringing about WWII. As the Germans descended upon Georgette's hometown of Valence, she left her school and joined the French Underground. As the war intensified and her small town was under German occupation, Georgette left her family behind and went to live and work with the Resistance for 6 months. She later resurfaced with her hair cut and dyed. Georgette had also adopted an alias to protect herself and her family's identity. During this time, Georgette became a courier. Georgette served as a link in a message relay system; getting critical information to groups hiding in the high mountains of France. Many of the documents Georgette carried was information instrumental in the sabotage and destruction of trains carrying munitions to the Nazis. Georgette also helped forge passports for many Jewish people trying to flee the country. During one close encounter, Georgette was followed by a Nazi soldier. Luckily, nothing more came of it. Georgette's older brother who was studying to become an engineer was apprehended by the Gestapo and taken to a labor camp. Georgette's resolve still remained strong and her determination to continue to fight for her country remained absolute. In the final months of the war Georgette met her future husband of 70 years; Ken, an American soldier. Ken drove a supply truck for the U.S. Army. Seeing how Georgette's mother and siblings were struggling to survive, Ken would often bring them food and supplies from his supply truck. Georgette's family quickly embraced Ken as their American hero and friend. Neither Georgette nor Ken spoke each other's language, but they were still able to communicate. After the war ended and having known each other for only 2 short months they were married on January 5, 1946 in front of Georgette's home in Valence. Georgette followed Ken to the United States shortly afterwards. They both lived in Alameda, Ca where Ken's parents resided and then a short time later settled in the town of Lakeport, Ca. Georgette became a consummate artist in multi-media, including oils, watercolor, sculpture, charcoal drawing, and pen & ink. She became a member of the Konocti Art Society making many lifelong friends. Georgette exhibited her work in several galleries in Lake and Mendocino counties. At the peak of her career, Georgette was the featured artist in a gallery exhibit in Lake County. Georgette worked hand-in-hand with her husband in his sign business whenever he needed artwork done on a sign. In 1964, Georgette opened a commercial paint store, called Westshore Paint Supply. Her business supplied paint to many house painters in the county. In addition to her love of mixed media, Georgette enjoyed writing sonnets. Several of her sonnets were published in local journals in Lake County. Georgette also got her real estate license and worked as a real estate agent for Anton Realty in Lakeport. Given Georgette's knowledge of her homeland's cuisine Georgette possessed exceptional culinary skills. One of her favorite dishes to make was frog legs. Georgette's sons readily helped provide fresh frogs from the family's frog pond. Georgette also made dishes from other parts of the world giving her family an appreciation for different types of cuisine. She imparted many of her cooking techniques and secrets onto her children giving them a good foundation and understanding into the world of Culinary Arts. After most of her kids were grown Georgette took up sailing with Ken who was already an accomplished sailor. When she wasn't in her art studio Georgette could be found on San Francisco Bay sailing with Ken on their Newport 30. Georgette lived with her beloved Ken in Lakeport for over 70 years. Georgette will be cherished as a wonderful mother, remembered as a devoted wife and admired as an exceptional artist and a brave Freedom Fighter. Georgette was 92 years old. She leaves behind her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and one cherished sister, Jeanine Blanc (age 87), who to this day resides in Valence, France. Georgette will be greatly missed.
Published in Lake County Record-Bee from May 13 to May 19, 2017
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