Rest In Peace, Dad

Memorial Page

John D.M. Shelley

April 17th, 1924 – August 26th, 2018

people say that you can't choose your parents, but you know you can't choose your children either. You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. We don't get to choose our parents, and parents don't get to choose their children. But we do get to choose how hard we're willing to work in order to make the best of what we're given.

Dad passed on Sunday, August 26th, at a very spry 94, but overcoming a stroke and brain clot is nearly impossible. Here's a little background on him.

Dad Was, Is and Always Will Be My Hero.

Dad was born John Donald Maynard Shelley, April 17th, 1924, in Emigsville, PA. His Father was Charles Busey Shelley; His Mother was Amy Olive (McKinley) Shelley.

Dad attended public school in Emigsville, which was a 3-room brick building on Broad Street. He also attended North York High School and graduated in 1940.

Dad worked as an Arms & Munitions Inspector for the Philadelphia Ordnance District, US Army at (now defunct) York Safe & Lock Co, on Loucks Road, in York, PA, where 37mm and 90mm anti-tank guns were being made for the British Forces, then fighting nazis in South Africa.

During World War II, from March 27th, 1943 to December 2nd, 1945, Dad served with the 101st Combat Engineers, 26th Infantry Division, 3rd Army Corps (Patton Armored) in the European Theater. He received the Eastern European Ribbon w/ 4 Clusters for Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe, along with the Purple Heart Medal for wounds he received in The Battle of The Bulge, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, American Theater Service Medal and the WWII Victory Service Medal.

His was a generation which did what had to be done to preserve our way of life, came back beat-up, gruesomely wounded, missing limbs, recovering without whining, and victorious in both Europe and Asia, and got back to the business of the building-up of America. Theirs was truly "The Greatest Generation", which will never come this way again.

Dad graduated from Penn State in 1950 with a BS Degree in Chemical Engineering and did subsequent graduate work at Clark University, Rutgers University, Penn State, Columbia and NYU. He worked for Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation (now Honeywell Corp) and affiliated companies (General Chemical Corp), primarily in sales and marketing. He retired in 1989 from General Chemical Corp as General Manager of Customers' Service.

Dad and Mom lived in State College, PA; Syracuse and Cazenovia, NY; Huntington, WV; Arlington Heights, Ill; Westfield and Convent Station, NJ.

They returned to York, PA in 1990 and in their "retirement", became affiliated with their son John's new business in 1990, as they founded & opened John Shelley's Garden Center & Nursery, Inc, in Felton, PA, in March of 1991.

John was married to Opal Regina (Stottlemyer) for 66 years, from Feb 1st 1946 to May 2012, when she passed away on May 2nd, 2012. John and Opal are survived by their Son, John II; Daughter, Rebecca Anne; and by a younger sister, Berdella Zuse in Guilfoil, CT, and several cousins. John II and Rebecca Anne both now live in the York, PA area.

Dad was my hero; I miss him terribly.

A Day In The Life.

On Friday, both the flooring guys and mattress deliverers were 1-3hrs late; no big deal. Karen & Bill stopped by to help me with the mattress, and some other projects; yes, I tipped them and other guys, too. The morning and part of the afternoon gone, I drove to the York Hospital to see Dad, but there was no change. They're getting him ready for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and that lead to some medical information which they haven't gotten so far. I got home around 1p, fell asleep in the leather recliner-swivel chair, and finally woke-up around 5:30p. Temps were in the upper 70s/low 80s, and no humidity, so I had the windows open, and Larson "Tradewinds" Screen-Storm Doors opened-up.

I've re-started listening to The Michael Savage Show from 3-6p, after quitting it 5-7yrs ago, and skipping Limbaugh from 12-3p, for the past 4-5mos. Better show.

Think your passwords are safe? Think again: read this.

By 7:30p. I was extremely tired from moving more boxes to the basement, going to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a new queen-sized mattress pad for the Friday delivery of the new Serta® Perfect Sleeper® Cache Hotel Pillowtop Queen Mattress ($699), going to the hospital, a new vinyl plank "wood floor" in the sunroom, etc etc, so I packed it in for the day.

I slept like a baby on that new mattress, waking-up at 6:30a on Saturday. I knew I had things to do, but without my "list", I couldn't remember what, where or when, so I needed to get the list, which was downstairs. After making coffee, having some rye toast, red plums, and went out to run some errands. I also had to pound the painted "X" separators back into the painted wine racks, with a rubber mallet. I could manage one-at-a-time, before becoming tired and needing to take a break. Chad showed-up around 11:30a, worked until 5p, and got a boatload of projects done for me.

I bought a 1951 Winchester Model 94 - .32Cal .Special from Chad, in excellent condition, for a mere $600, to add to my collection. Very nice piece. And the ammo for the new rifle just arrived ysterday.

The Bommarito Automotive Group IndyCar 500 was on at 8:30p from St Louis, but I only lasted 90 laps, of the 248. I needed sleep.

Sleeping-in until 9:30a, I made coffee, had Shredded Wheat & Blueberries for breakfast, ran some errands to Rite Aid and Home Depot, and began to layout the parameters of the desk and filing cabinet system in the sunroom, aka my new office.

Then Becky called from the York Hospital. Dad had just died at 1:45pm on Sunday, August 26, 2018.

I prefer to remember him the last time we were together at his condo, even though I've been to see him at the YH and seen him on life support.

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever


The rest of the week was depressing, even though I had a lot going on at the condo, I couldn't get Dad out of my mind. All the many, many good times, a few bumpy times, and what am I going to do now that he's gone. I'll figure it out; I always seem to do so.

The installer came to set-up the new Office Furniture and filing cabinet. It took him less than an hour.

On Tuesday, Becky and I had a 10a, appointment with the Etzweiler Funeral Home, and afterward, to meet with Dad's Elder Care Attorney. We stopped at Five Guys Burgers to get take out back to my condo, and after getting much of the burger and fries down, saved the rest for another meal, and I dropped-off Becky back at her condo. She has mountains of paperwork to do, and as Executor and POA of Dad's Estate, the bulk of it falls on her, yet I help out when and where I can, having simple Power of Attorney, as she and I both preferred.

We had a long day and I did some work on my new sunroom office; she crashed early. Except for my monthly PCP (Primary Care Physician) Dr's app't, I'm pretty clear for the week and can catch-up on some sleep. Becky can, as well.

Not having paid any attention to the news, or other events, since Dad passed away on Sunday, August 26th, at 1:45p, in York HospitaL, I guess that I have some catching-up to do. But I really don't care right now, until I get caught-up on his affairs and help Becky get so many things processed and sorted out. Tired, I made-up my to-do list for tomorrow, watched an episode of "Fantom Works" on The Velocity Channel, and hit the sack around 11:30p on Tuesday.

I slept-in until 9:30a on Wednesday, made coffee, ham, eggs, baked beans and toast for breakfast, and went out to get some errands done before the 95-97°F temps hit us midday and thru the afternoon. After getting back, I called Riley (Spartan Computer) and Dan (Comcast) to confirm their being here on Tuesday, September 4th, to move my remaining computer and all Comcast equipment out to the new sunroom office. I also started breaking down some of the hardware and wiring. What a tangled mess! After dinner and some "American Pickers". I pulled the plug at 8:30p.

Up at 9:30a on Thursday, I made coffee, had a muffin, and drove to Becky';s to search for Dad's WWII records, specifically his DD-214 Honorable Discharge, so the US Military York Color Guard could perform their ceremony, a 21-gun salute and present a folded flag to Becky and me. The Memorial Service will be at Mt Rose Cemetery, at The Victorian Chapel, on Saturday, October 13th. Notices will be sent out to selected friends and all surviving family, in mid-September. We spent several hours going thru hundreds of files and found boxes of photos going back to the late 40s, before I was born in 1949. I left Dad's around 2p, got some errands done, and did some chores at my condo. I have a 7:30a Dr's app't with my PCP (Primary Care Physician) of 20+ years, so aftrer a couple hours of TV, and recharging a completely dead cellphone, I crashed around 10p.

I think it might be time to get that cellphone a new battery, after 5-6yrs. Heh.

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