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Griselda Aurora Shelly

January 19, 2014

Griselda Aurora Shelly, 88, of North Newton, died Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, at Kidron Bethel Health Care in North Newton.She was born Jan. 31, 1925, to Lizzie (Hiestand) and Gilbert Gehman near Newark, Del., three days before Maynard, her future husband, was born in Pennsylvania. She was baptized at Cookman Methodist Episcopal Church in Columbia, Pa., on her seventh birthday by her father, six months before he died suddenly of a ruptured appendix in 1932. Griselda moved with her mother to Washington, D.C., to live with her grandparents until her grandfather died when she was nine years old.Again Griselda and her mother moved, this time to Pennsylvania. She attended a one-room school in Chapel, Pa., and East Greenville High School. There she met Maynard Shelly, and together they went to Bluffton College. After graduation, Griselda and Maynard were married on Sept. 7, 1945, and moved to Chicago for Maynard to attend seminary.In 1947 they took a Bluffton student tour to Europe, traveling on a converted troop ship. Griselda became a mother with the birth of a son, Javan, in 1948. Following seminary, their family lived in Hopedale, Ill., and Allentown, Pa., where Maynard was pastor of Mennonite churches. In 1955 they moved to Newton, where Griselda joined Bethel College Mennonite Church in 1956.In 1971, Griselda and Maynard went to East Pakistan shortly before it became Bangladesh, where they served for three years with Mennonite Central Committee, beginning MCC’s work with refugees and relief assistance. The relief work provided food, village rebuilding, and agricultural assistance and development.During her years in Newton, Griselda edited the Junior Messenger magazine (1955-59), and subsequently served as a proofreader and copy editor for the Commission on Education of the General Conference Mennonite Church. From 1976 to 1987, Griselda served as director for Mennonite Central Committee Central States. Following retirement, she volunteered with EtCetera Shop, Ten Thousand Villages, Book ReViews, and the Bethel College Life Enrichment planning committee. At BCMC Griselda participated in Christian education, Vacation Bible School, and Outreach Commission.Survivors include her son, Javan (Sue) Shelly of Cincinnati, Ohio; two step-grandsons, David (Kim) Allen of Cincinnati and Douglas Brock of Washington, D.C.; two step-great-granddaughters, Lindsey and Katelin; a step-great-great-grandson, Braedon; two brothers-in-law, Howard (Marilyn) of Bluffton, Ohio, and Alton (Els) of Goshen, Ind.; and five sisters-in-law, June Shelly of Newton, Helen Shelly Klassen of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Elizabeth Shelly of Bluffton, Ohio, Alma Shelly of North Newton, and Marjorie Nester of Normal, Ill.; and 27 nieces and nephews.She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Maynard; brothers-in-law, Irwin, Kenneth, Ralph, Walter and Sterling Shelly and Don Nester; and sisters-in-law, Carol and Edna Shelly.Visitation will be 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Petersen Funeral Home, with the family from 6:30 to 8 p.m. A graveside service at 9:30 a.m. at Greenwood Cemetery will be followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. Thursday at Faith Mennonite Church in Newton. Pastor Heidi Regier Kreider and Pastor Susan Wheeler will be presiding. Faith Mennonite Church has graciously opened their church to the family due to a construction project at Bethel College Mennonite Church.Memorials may be sent to Bethel College Mennonite Church or Mennonite Central Committee (Central States).  – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thekansan/obituary.aspx?n=griselda-aurora-shelly&pid=169193446&fhid=2435#sthash.tdjQfjGs.dpuf

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