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Wilburn Lee Shelley

Wilburn Lee Shelley, 88, of Cabool, Missouri, departed this life on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at Kabul Nursing Home after a short illness. He was surrounded by family as he took his last breath and went to his heavenly home.

Lee was born on November 7, 1929 at Bendavis, Missouri, one of 16 children of Walter and Alma (Curtner) Shelley.

He grew up in the Bendavis and Fowler communities; he attended Murr Church and attended a one-room schoolhouse up to the third grade before he went to work to help feed the family.

Lee was united in marriage to the love of his life, Mary Smith, on October 25, 1949 and to this union seven children were born. They enjoyed 67 years of a wonderful and loving marriage.

Lee was also known as “Fuzzy” and his CB handle was Copenhagen; he was an over-the-road truck driver most of his life, logging several million miles. He was a very loving father and grandfather. He loved telling stories and there are a lot of stories his grandkids can tell about him. He enjoyed spending time with his family and his eyes would light up when his grandchildren would come to visit. He was a longtime member of St. Michael Catholic Church in Cabool.

Lee was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife, Mary; two sons, David and Larry Shelley; one daughter, Connie Young; and several brothers and sisters.

He is survived by four daughters, Linda Baker and husband Kenny of Huggins, Missouri, Rita Preece and husband Paul of Cabool, Kathy Manning and husband Bud of Mtn. Grove, Missouri, and Debbie Schiewetz and husband Gary of Mtn. Home, Arkansas; two daughters-in-law, Beverly Shelley of Cabool and Sherri Shelley of Pittsburg, Kansas; a brother, Dennis Shelley of Cabool; five sisters, Billie Miller of Roby, Missouri, Patsy Martin and husband Bo of Aurora, Missouri, Mickey Chronister of Cabool, Barbara Huffman of Texas, and Lorene Crewse of Graff, Missouri; 12 grandchildren, Paul Shelley and Sara of Springfield, Tyson Shelley and Dawnelle of Pittsburg, Kansas, Russell Shelley of Pittsburg, Kansas, Wayne Shelley and Mandy of Mtn. Grove, Michael Shelley and Rhonda of Fair Grove, Missouri, Kristina Baker of Huggins, Shelley Kelly and Kirby of Manes, Missouri, Brian Preece and Lisa of Ava, Missouri, Chris Emery and Tara of Mtn. Grove, Jeremy Emery and Crystal of Mtn. Grove, Jason Emery and Brandi of Mtn. Grove, and J.T. Shelley and Sarah of Mtn. Home, Arkansas; 30 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Lee never met a stranger and will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.

Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 22, 2017, at the funeral chapel with Wayne Shelley officiating. Kirby Kelly sang “Go Rest High on That Mountain” and “Amazing Grace,” and Sara Swisloski sang “The Great Speckled Bird” and “Wings of a Dove.” Pallbearers were Michael Shelley, Brian Preece, Chris Emery, Jeremy Emery, Jason Emery and J.T. Shelley. Honorary pallbearers were Paul Shelley, Tyson Shelley, Russell Shelley, Shelley Kelly and Kristina Baker.

Interment will be at a later date in Cabool Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of Elliott- Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool. Online condolences may be made at

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