Margaret (Maggie) Shelley, age 95, of Andalusia AL died on October 20, 2022, at Florala Heath and Rehabilitation in Florala AL.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be held on November 9, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Andalusia, with the Reverend Ken Jackson and the Reverend Timothy R. Trent presiding.
Mrs. Shelley (or Miss Maggie as she was later called by her friends and students) was born June 4, 1927, in her Grandmother Bedsole’s home in Samson AL. She is survived by a loving family and a host of friends: her daughter, Gretchen Franco, grandchildren Davis Jensen and Alexis Franco, niece Rita Fowler (Marcus), nephew John Owen Bedsole, Jr. (Jodie), great-nieces, great nephews, cousins, church fellowship members, former teachers, and students. She was preceded in death by her parents, the Reverend Earline Owen and Ralph Solomon Bedsole; her husband Robert P. (Bob) Shelley, her daughter Amanda Jensen, her son-in-law Derrick Jensen, her brother John Owen Bedsole and her sister-in-law, Helen Bedsole.
She was a devoted and loving mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and was sublimely happy being with her family and friends. She spent many happy hours on the front porch of her 100 year old birthplace with her cousin Martha Ann Calvert. A faithful and active member of the First United Methodist Church and the Ethel Chapman Sunday school class, she taught adult Sunday school classes for many years, served as Lay Leader of the church, and on several church committees. One of her proudest achievements was organizing and taking part in the church’s Outreach Communion ministry. She was a Certified Lay Speaker and was a faithful member of the Bible study and prayer groups. In 2007 she was honored with The Alabama-West Florida Methodist Conference Evangelism Award.
Mrs. Shelley loved music; she often spoke of her joy and appreciation for her church choir and musicians. She had a great love for people, and delighted in “doing for others”; many, many people were the recipients of her creative greeting card ministry. She enjoyed working in her yard, caring for her home, reading, corresponding via her computer, traveling, visiting friends and loved ones. She valued her membership in the Inter Se study club and served in various offices during her tenure.
Mrs. Shelley was a retired high school and junior high school teacher of English, having taught thirty-six years. She was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Alabama and a Master of Education degree (concentration English) from Auburn University. In 1968 she was chosen one of forty-eight teachers in the nation to attend an Institute on Elizabethan Drama and Art with emphasis on Shakespeare at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Earlier, in 1955-56, while she was living in Munich, Germany, she was employed as Executive Secretary to the Chief of Administration at Radio Free Europe. Mrs. Shelley had a deep and abiding love for teaching and her students and continued to enjoy loving associations with her former students throughout her life. She loved and cherished children of all ages.
While living in Auburn AL, she was a member of the honorary societies Delta Kappa Gamma and Phi Delta Kappa. Her classroom at Auburn Junior High School was used as a laboratory for English education students, and she supervised interns from Auburn University. During this time she wrote juvenile fiction reviews which were published in the ENGLISH JOURNAL. Mrs. Shelley was honored with the dedication of the Auburn Junior High School yearbook THE EAGLE in 1981, Teacher of the Year in 1987 at Florala High School and in 2012 she was named Grand Marshall at the Laurel Hill School Homecoming celebration. While volunteering for Covenant Hospice, she was awarded the Spirit of Hospice award. She wished to be remembered as one who loved her “fellow man.”
The family will receive friends downstairs in the fellowship hall of the church immediately following the service. Flowers are gratefully declined. The family has requested any memorials be given to the First United Methodist Church of Andalusia or a charity of choice.