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Richard "Dick" Shelley

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Richard "Dick" Shelley Obituary
Richard "Dick" Shelley
Richard was born on October 28, 1936 in Seattle WA and passed away July 7, 2018 in Ellensburg, WA.
Dick Shelley was an incredibly kind and giving man throughout his life who reached out to people and made them feel noticed. He had a way of drawing people into his orbit and was filled with an incredible capacity to love. A story his sister recently shared is a perfect example of who Dick was. In the early 40's the kids in their Seattle neighborhood liked to play at an abandoned golf course where the course had a series of rolling hills down to a forest of big trees. August was a perfect time to take pieces of cardboard and slide down the dried grass hills towards the forest with the hope one could stop before running into a tree. Dick loved spending his days doing this and would ask his mom for a peanut butter sandwich to eat so he didn't have to come home until dinner. At one point he started asking for two sandwiches and his mom wanted to know why. It seemed a hobo was living in the woods and Dick would sit and talk with him while sharing his peanut butter sandwich and thought it would be nice for his new acquaintance to have his own sandwich.
Dick was born in Seattle, Washington to Thelma and Martin Shelley in 1936. He had a big sister, Donna Jean, and lived in the Queen Anne area and grew up in a very different Seattle than we see today. He joined the army when he was a young man and eventually was stationed in Alaska, where he made life long bonds with the guys in his unit. He learned to be a lineman in the army and continued in that trade helping to install many of the powerlines seen throughout the Pacific Northwest. He was well known in the lineman industry and was willing to mentor anyone who wanted to commit themselves to the job, although he had high expectations of his apprentices.
Dick was married to Debra Smith in 1960 and while that marriage did not work out, he was very happy with the two wonderful boys he had with Debra. He married his wife Marlene in 1973 and moved to Roslyn, WA shortly after. They had an old house up on the top of the hill and were probably considered hippies based on the pictures of them during that time frame. Marlene died of cancer several years later and Dick was devastated, but kept in touch with Marlene's boys, and he considered their kids his grandkids. He also considered her son Randy one of his own and Dick and Randy maintained a special bond throughout his life.
Dick met Arlene a few years after Marlene passed and married her in 1988 and shared thirty adventurous years with her. Arlene had six adult children when they married, but Dick opened his arms and considered her children his and enjoyed all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren that came with the marriage. He loved telling stories about what all the grandkids were up to and Dick and Arlene opened their home to many of them who needed a helping hand. They also enjoyed visiting the various kids, grandkids and great-grandkids throughout Washington, Oregon and California.
Dick's pride and joy were his two boys Martin and Greg and he shared many hiking and camping trips with his boys over the years. He also passed his gift of gab to both boys, and conversations between them were always lively! Dick dropped everything when Martin was diagnosed with cancer and moved a travel trailer to a park near the University of Washington so he could work nearby while Martin was going through treatments. Dick also loved to visit with his sons up in
Alaska and more recently with Greg out at Springwood ranch, and Martin at his home in Ellensburg. Dick became very close over the past few years to his grandson, Michel (Martin's son), who mowed his lawn and helped him with chores around the house. Dick was very proud when Michel recently decided to follow in his footsteps and pursue a career in the lineman industry. Dick also liked to brag about his beautiful granddaughter, Scottie Marie (Greg's daughter), to anybody who would listen and would often flip out a picture of her to show people her gorgeous eyelashes! After Arlene passed, Dick and his daughter-in-law, Kari, became movie buddies, enjoying lots of the latest flicks. They spent a lot of time with each other while traveling to the doctor appointments and became good friends discussing their shared passions from books to politics.
When Dick got sick with aplastic anemia about eight years ago, he and Arlene moved from Roslyn to Ellensburg, and Dick enjoyed getting to know his new neighbors. He and Arlene loved to sit on the porch and visit with neighbors and get to know their story! Dick went into remission and was able to care for Arlene when she had a stroke and was struggling with her arthritis. He was heartbroken when she passed away a few years ago but didn't let that stop him from enjoying life. Dick and his beloved big sister had the trip of a lifetime last fall. He had always wanted to take a train trip across Canada, so he got them each a private room in Prestige class and traveled from Vancouver to Toronto and then back. They had an incredible time and he was busy planning their next trip right before he passed away.
Dick's aplastic anemia came back to haunt him in November of last year, but he had a great attitude as he tried to battle his disease once again. He had a lot of trust in his doctors but knew things could turn at any time and had made his peace with his maker. He had a lot of life left to live, but his body just couldn't keep going anymore and he died at home with Randy, Michel, Kari and his boys at his side.
Dick was so kind to people, no matter where they came from and was willing to embrace people regardless of their background. At a recent stay in a rehab nursing facility, Dick had ordered a book for one patient, gave a treasured book on the history of Roslyn to another patient, and even asked his sister to pick up some cigarettes for yet another patient who couldn't afford them at the time. It was these little acts of kindness that set Dick apart from others. His life was better because he was so willing to reach out and do something little with no expectation of anything in return. He was someone who made an impact on those he met, and his hope for others would be to enjoy life as much as he did, and to reach out and give just a little to make someone else's life a bit better, even if it is just a kind word.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents Thelma and Martin Shelley, his second wife Marlene, his wife of the last thirty years Arlene, his step-daughter Linda Reed and his brother-in-law Dick Piper. He is survived by his sister Donna Piper of Lynwood, WA his sons Martin (Kari) Shelley of Ellensburg, WA, Greg Shelley of Thorp, WA, and Randy (Peggy) Swager of Laporte, CO, and step-kids Marilyn (Roger) Baker of Albany, OR, Brenda (Jeff) Frenzel of Albany, OR, Lizzie Lorene (Michael) Moore of Fair Oaks, CA, Denice Charlene Trout of Kent, WA and Robert Earl Cahoe of Douglas, AZ. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and special friends who he loved dearly.
A service will be held to honor Dick's life at St. Andrews Catholic Church on Friday, August 24 at 11:00 a.m., a short military honors graveside service at Holy Cross immediately following, and a reception at St. Andrews after that. Donations in honor of Dick can be made to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance or to the Roslyn Library.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.brooksidefhc.com.

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Published in Daily Record on Aug. 18, 2018
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