written by Shelly's mom, Debra
I am so excited to share the life of my beautiful daughter, Shelly. Shelly was a very, loving, caring, generous and considerate young woman.
Family was very important to Shelly, she had an older sister (my oldest daughter, Nicki) and a younger brother (Billy) and sister (Jillian), whom she loved very much, they meant the world to her. Shelly was my best friend. We could sit and talk, laugh and cry for hours. Mall walking and window shopping was always a treat for her. Fishing with my husband (Joe) was one of her favorite pastimes, she loved to tease him when she caught the most fish. When my grandmother was no longer able to remain in her home, due to Alzheimer’s, Shelly would visit every week to fix her hair and paint her nails, which she also did for her grandma. We had an elderly neighbor, Ms O that Shelly would often shop for and she would go shopping with my Father-in-law, who became paralyzed on his left side due to a stroke he suffered.
She loved to be with her friends, usually on the porch (affectionately known as “The Clubhouse”) or rollerblading. PIG, was a basketball game she loved to play with us. Music, dancing, comedy and sports played a big role in her life. She loved concerts, to sing and dance or see a 3 Stooges Film Festival. She would laugh so hard she would cry. She also loved going to Buffalo Sabres games.
Although she loved all animals, cats held a very special place in her heart. Cleo, Jinxy and Maggie were our cats, but she also loved Voodoo (my best friend’s cat, pictured with Shelly) and Prickles, which she named a neighborhood stray that would follow her everywhere. We also had dogs (Keisha and Lady) that she loved to play with and walk.
Construction was Shelly’s dream. She wanted to be in business with my husband and was studying at McKinley High School to pursue that dream. She loved demolition, which was always her favorite part of a project. Creativity was her forte; she was a perfectionist (much like my husband) and had great attention to detail when it came to the reconstruction phase of a project.
Shelly passed away from SADS (sudden fatal cardiac arrhythmia) at the age of 15. We had discussed organ donation at great length, as I am a registered organ donor. When I explained what exactly organ donation was, Shelly was quick to state her intentions. Due to the medications administered in fighting to save Shelly’s life, they were unable to use many organs, however, Shelly was still able to help many people with her gifts. There were 2 young people who received her corneas, giving the gift of sight. Shelly’s remaining eye tissue was sent to Philadelphia for research. Her skin and bone tissue were sent to Florida, for burn victims and bone marrow transplants. Although Shelly is gone, her presence and memory lives on not only in our hearts, but also through her gifts of life. We love and miss her every day. Fly high my Little Bird <3