PIERRE, SD – A man of strong character and great integrity, Dan Shelbourn went home to be with His Lord on February 9th, 2019, at Avera Maryhouse in Pierre with his loving family at his side. He had been under hospice care there for one month. Funeral services will be held Monday, February 18, at 10:30 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Pierre. A prayer service will be held Sunday evening at 7 p.m. at Isburg Funeral Home with visitation from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. prior to the service. The committal service will be held Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at Riverside Cemetery.
Daniel LeRoy Shelbourn was born in Valentine, Nebraska on August 14, 1926 to Joseph Andrew and Caroline “Lena” (Lurz) Shelbourn. He was the second of seven children. He grew up on the family farm in Todd County and developed an incredible work ethic. His love for animals and all things growing continued throughout his entire life.
He received an agriculture deferment so that he would not have to be drafted into World War II. But his love for his country prompted him to enlist in the army on May 2, 1945, and served in the occupation forces in post-war Germany. After his discharge he promptly re-enlisted. He was again honorably discharged on November 17, 1946 having achieved the rank of corporal. He was very proud of having served in the horse cavalry in World War II. He also served in the South Dakota National Guard from 1958-1959.
When he was home from the army he met the love of his life, Clara Kellner, when he was 20 and she was 14 at a neighborhood box social. He never forgot her and they reconnected when she was 18 and he was 24. They married on June 8, 1952, in Valentine, Nebraska and they were blessed with two children. They took over the family farm until health issues forced him to seek alternative employment. He took the Civil Service Exam and proudly scored at the top of his class. He began a 31 year career with the Game, Fish, and Parks Department in 1957. He worked at Farm Island Recreational Area in Pierre, Shadehill Recreational Area in Lemmon, South Dakota, and with the Parks Department in Pierre. He rarely missed a day of work.
A life long love of the Black Hills developed early on. He and Clara began camping in 1956 and that became an annual event for the rest of their lives. Life-long friendships developed over many shared camping trips. Having only two grandchildren they took them and many of their friends camping each summer. They treasured this time with them and many memories were lovingly created from these activities. It was a sad day for them when they sold their beloved motorhome in 2016. He and Clara were able to visit the Black Hills one last time in September of last year. In spite of his cancer diagnosis his dogged determination resulted in him hiking to the bottom of Roughlock Falls and back up at the age of 92.
Dan retired in 1988 and Clara retired one year later. In their retirement they traveled extensively having visited all of the states except Hawaii. A 10 week trip to Alaska was a highlight of their adventures. They traveled in Europe, England, and Scandinavia. His German and European roots were strong. He had a dry wit and always needed to be reminded to read the front of any card first before he opened it. He joked that was an English trait.
He and Clara attended virtually all of their son’s and grandchildren’s sporting events cheering them on from the sidelines. They were both avid Governor green supporters and attended many state tournaments even when their grandchildren were not involved. Dan even endured grandson Jacob’s soccer games from grade school through college even though he did not understand or enjoy the game. Baseball was his sport of passion and he was a proud supporter of the Minnesota Twins.
As an avid gardener Dan was very proud of his green beans and tomatoes. He shared his produce with neighbors and friends each summer. Starting in 1982 he and Clara made scores of apple pies every fall. The most they made in one fall was 112. Those were always shared with family and friends and lovingly placed in freezers to be enjoyed later.
Both he and Clara were active members of Faith Lutheran Church in Pierre. He served on several boards including the board of elders, was financial secretary, and proudly was part of the counting team on Monday mornings, a position he held for decades.
Dan is survived by his loving wife Clara of 66 ½ years, children Ken Shelbourn and Nancy (Bob) Shoup both of Pierre; grandchildren Katie (Josh) Nebelsick of Rapid City and Jacob (Chezarae) Shoup of Sioux Falls, and great-grandchildren William, Oliver Daniel, Joseph, and Franklin Nebelsick, and Elsie and Isaiah Daniel Shoup, brothers Merle (Annie) Shelbourn of Jackson, MN and Alan (Karen) Shelbourn of Kingston, WA; sister Ann Harvey of Valentine, NE and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Joe, sisters Ida Louise and Marjorie, and brother-in-law Tom Harvey.
Memorials may be directed to Faith Lutheran Church Endowment Fund or Avera Home Health and Hospice Care of Pierre.
Arrangements have been placed in the care of Isburg Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.isb urgfuneralchapels.com