JoAnn Marie Shelver born Oct. 30, 1930 passed peacefully on July 11, 2021. She was surrounded by love and light with family and the incredible community at Enso House Hospice in Freeland, Wash., by her side.
Jo was born in Trinidad, Calif., along with her brother Donald Leslie, who passed on June 12, 2021. She lived an incredible 90 years on this earth, and there aren’t words eloquent enough to encompass her impact on the world around her, and what she meant to all the lives she touched.
Jo met her beloved Jim Shelver in Eureka, Calif., where she was a hairstylist. Jim and Jo made a fine couple and they married along with Lori and Mark on June 20, 1959. They purchased a home in Kirkland, Wash., where Jim pursued his lifelong career with the Bell Telephone Co.
Karen was born in 1961 and Todd in 1962. The Shelver‘s were later transferred to the East Coast, where Jim worked with Bell Telephone in New York City and Jo became heavily immersed in the arts.
Jo first began working with clay, later with stone and metal, and other mixed mediums. Throughout her life she utilized paint and colors to create exquisite pieces of artwork. She joyfully shared her gifts and talents with those she loved. She saw the beauty in everything and everyone, and elegantly inspired creativity with everyone she encountered. She was a true artist.
Jo had the opportunity to experience many grand adventures around the world with her beloved husband Jim. Jo also worked in Iona, Scotland with her dear friend Vivian Hall. When Jo and Jim moved to Whidbey Island, Wash., they flourished and built a rich village for themselves there. Jo was always very active in the community alongside her partner Jim, and together they were pillars in the community. Jo and Jim have held many honors within the Whidbey Island community for their many contributions over the years including their involvement with The Whidbey Institute, The Commons Coffeehouse in Langley, WA and with Enzo House Hospice, among others. Their beautiful home was built on South Possession Beach, where Jo hosted the memorable camp cousins for her grandchildren in the summertime. The beach house set the tone for many fond memories with family and friends, and moments in time that will be cherished forever by those who knew and loved them. Jo was a lover of sand, driftwood, sunsets, eagles, and seaweed. Her gardens were a work of color and texture. Her life a thing of immense beauty.
Their final chapter in Langley, Wash., Jim and Jo had 15 years in a safe and beautiful space where they were able to fulfill their wishes to spend their life together at home and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Jim passed peacefully last August, and Jo had 11 months without her cherished husband. Jo felt blessed to be cared for lovingly by her first granddaughter Monika Jo Scott, along with her caregivers Ann and Katie, as well as her family and close friends on the island. Jo was deeply loved by many and her life was filled with colorful characters, who when woven together formed a rich tapestry of warmth and kindness.
On her last night at home. She was prepared a dinner for a queen, she toasted Jim, the air was festive. Joined by Monika and several very close friends, she was celebrated. That evening she spoke these final words to her daughter Karen; “I am safe, I am happy, and I am loved.” Her very last words were of a life filled with love and of a life well lived.
Jo is survived by her daughter Karen Lee Rider; son Todd Jerome Shelver; grandchildren Monika Jo Scott, Jacob Alan Scott, Brittney Danielle Scott, Ryanne Elizabeth Zielinski, Thalia Marie Shelver, Alexander James Taylor and Elijah Thomas Taylor; and her great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Jim Shelver, who passed Aug. 13, 2020l; son Mark Alan Scott, who passed on May 20, 2013; and daughter LauraAnn Mellison “Lori,” who passed on April 12, 2020.
There will be a celebration of life at the Whidbey Institute at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to Enzo House Hospice on Whidbey Island.
Song dedications — “She’s a Rainbow,” by The Rolling Stones and “Joanne” by Lady Gaga.