Christopher Leigh Shelley, 47, a resident of Oklahoma City, OK passed away peacefully at Norman Regional Hospital in Norman, Oklahoma on April 16th, 2021 after sustaining long term damage due to Covid-19.
Chris was born in San Bernardino, California on March 22nd, 1974 to Debra and Kenneth Shelley. He attended Serrano High School, Redlands Community College where he received an Associate of Arts and The University of Oklahoma where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Master in Education.
Chris was a very hard working and driven man. He worked in manufacturing as a welder and safety coordinator in his younger years. On top of working forty plus hours a week, he also attended college full time and was an outstanding father. After working a long and hard day, he still came home with a positive attitude, a smile on his face, and played with his children. After being shaped into the man he was from his manufacturing days he was then offered a position at Oklahoma City Community College in 2009. He remained employed with Oklahoma City Community College till 2021 when he passed.
During these twelve years, Chris held many positions, but the one that fulfilled his higher education employment the most was his role as Assistant Registrar and Student Conduct Officer. He spoke of the position highly and frequently stated that his favorite part of the job was that he was able to have a direct impact on students and their academic success. Aside from his full time position on campus, he was also thrilled to be teaching part time and playing such a crucial role in his student’s academic paths.
If you were to ask those who spent a lot of time with Chris, they could confirm that he was an advocate of all things he loved including nature, animal rights, the well being of others and education. Many would also describe him as a fantastic listener. Chris had a calming demeanor that made everyone he spoke to feel truly heard. Whether he agreed with one’s perspective or not, he fully embraced diversity and remained open-minded. Chris was also amazing at giving advice. There was just something about him- he could assist individuals in seeing situations from all points of view, help them make sense of the situation, teach them something new in the process and provide them with a strong sense of direction as the end result.
Another one of Chris’ greatest attributes was his sense of humor and his ability to lighten the mood; even in some of the most stressful times. His ability to come up with a joke, a movie quote or uplifting comment on a whim was a trait he was well known for.
Chris was a humble, patient, and understanding individual. He displayed these characteristics daily while at work and at home. On his spare time, Chris wanted nothing more than to be surrounded by his family. Chris was adventurous and lived an “in the moment” type of lifestyle. He was an avid sports follower, beer connoisseur and outdoorsman. Some of his favorite activities included kayaking, camping, off-roading, riding ATVs, and mountain biking. He also enjoyed collecting fishing gear with his son and they frequented many fishing trips on the weekends. It was not uncommon for Chris to urge his family to go for a drive. He did not feel that there needed to be a set plan or destination; going with the flow of things was all part of the process.
His weekend mornings consisted of sitting on the patio with his wife, Michelle, of 26 years, while they drank their coffee, bird watched and took in all the sounds that nature had to offer. They enjoyed spending the weekends together listening to music, doing projects around the yard, BBQing and having bon fires in the evenings.
Those that knew and loved Chris would describe him as a safe place with a compassionate and warm heart; he will be truly missed by all those whose lives that he has touched.
Chris is survived by his wife, Michelle Shelley, children, Caitlyn Shelley and Christian Shelley, grandchild, Denlyn McGaskey, parents, Kenneth Shelley and Debra Shelley, and siblings, Kurtis Shelley and Kevin Shelley. He is also survived by a host of loving nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends, as well as his beloved pet, Buddy Shelley. Chris was predeceased by his grandparents, Kenneth and Elsie Estes and Kenneth Shelley, James Barton, and Shirley Barton, pets, Haus Shelley and Brittany Shelley.
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; May the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again may god hold you in the palm of his hand.”
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