Rochelle Marie (Shelley) was born November 26, 1950. She was the middle child of five born to Louis and Lucille Wimer of Cottonwood, ID. Shelley was baptized at the St Mary’s Catholic Church by Monsignor Verhoven. It was witnessed by her baptismal godparents, Maurice & Rita Wimer. In those days, Monsignor Verhoven expected every child to be named after a saint. He was very happy that she was the first baby he had ever baptized named after Saint Roch. Rochelle later chose to go by Shelley.
Shelley was a good-natured child. With her straight-cut bangs she often had a solemn look but was not above some conniving. She was more likely to start or agitate things under the surface. Shelley attended St. Joseph’s Catholic grade school for eight years and attended St. Gertrude’s High School for one year. While there she worked with Sister Petronella in the lunch room. Shelley transferred to Prairie High School and graduated in 1969.
Shelley always made friends easily and carried a beaming smile throughout her life. She was a member of the drill team, active in girl’s league and a girl’s league state representative. She was class secretary her sophomore and junior years, a varsity cheerleader, and even sophomore class homecoming princess. Shelley sang in the big chorus, the tentet, the girl’s triple trio, and in a trio with her sisters. She was also active in the teen sodality organization. Shelley was even awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution citizenship award which was based on leadership, service, patriotism, and dependability to family, school, and community. During high school Shelley somehow found time to also work part time at the local hospital.
Shelley attended the University of Idaho for two years, majoring in history. She roomed in the dormitory at Forney Hall, was song leader and a member of SPURS. During the summer between her freshman and sophomore years she worked as a governess in Long Island, NY near her college roommate Norma Jean.
While at the U of I, Shelley met Lee Celmer on a blind date. They were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cottonwood, ID on October 16, 1971 and settled in Caldwell, ID. Shelley and Lee had two sons, Eric Lee and Kurt Anthony. Shelley loved being a mom and was an avid and supportive “soccer mom” as her sons grew up playing the sport. In fact, she is credited with co-naming the original Caldwell soccer club team, the Caldwell Cyclones.
After her sons started school, Shelley became a kindergarten aide in 1981. She absolutely adored working with young children saying the “little ones love their teacher and want their teacher to love them.” Shelley often told amusing stories about the things her students did or said. She enjoyed working with her fun group of teachers and stayed close friends with them through her retirement in 2013 after 32 years in the Caldwell School District. She had an amazing ability to recognize “her kids” and would call them by name even after they were grown up and had kids of their own. Her siblings often joked they couldn’t go anywhere with Shelley without her stopping to talk to friends or former students.
Shelley became a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority Caldwell chapter in 1972 and was an active member for 45 years. Over the years she served on or headed up every committee, held offices including President (multiple times) and was previously honored as the Beta Sigma Phi Sweetheart. She made wonderful, lifelong friends in the sorority and they all had so much fun raising their kids together.
Shelley was the cornerstone of her extended family. She and her family have always been very close and they truly enjoyed spending time with each other during holidays, camping trips to Buffalo Hump, travelling, and just being together. She had great shopping skills and powers of persuasion when it came to talking her sisters into purchases. She had a great sense of humor, was always fun to be with, and was quite the socialite. When home, Shelley often would be on the phone having a “good talk” with her many friends and family. She was always thoughtful, generous and caring towards everyone.
Shelley loved to travel and seek adventure. Her excursions took her to the San Juan Islands, Hawaii, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Ireland, Italy, Cabo San Lucas, the East coast, the South, throughout the western U.S., and on fun cruises with family and friends. Some favorite activities included: going to San Chappelle for wine and music in the summer, riding along on off-road Idaho adventures, lunch or coffee with friends & family, and attending Sunday afternoon movies. Shelley enjoyed plays, concerts, holiday bazaars, and especially wine (have we mentioned that yet?) with sisters, cousins, and close friends. She was very hospitable and would always have a little “sumpin, sumpin” on hand for everyone. Anyone stopping by the house was always greeted by her many holiday flags and ever rotating holiday decorations.
She was dearly loved by her husband, sons, brother, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, numerous teacher and sorority friends, and the many others who knew her. Shelley easily made and kept a large cohort of “best friends” over the years. These friends and family have remained steadfast, supportive and invaluable to Shelley during the 20+ years she struggled with some complicated medical issues and two bouts with cancer. Despite losing her husband Lee to cancer in May of 2016, she faced her own cancer with optimism, determination and, most of all, faith. She carried a grace and strength of character to stoically endure hardships most people could not weather. Shelley truly was someone to emulate through any adversity.
Shelley strongly believed in angels and collected angels and bells. We believe she has been surrounded by angels throughout her life and especially these last few years. Although she will be sorely missed, we also believe Shelley has been lifted to heaven on angels’ wings to sing with them in the heavenly chorus while she watches over us.
Shelley is survived by two sons: Eric Lee (Adah), Kurt Anthony (Suzie), four siblings: Dale (Penny) Wimer, Kathleen Martin, Judy (Terry) Lostrom, Holly Wimer, numerous nieces & nephews, and her mother-in-law, Marie Celmer.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church under the direction of Dakan Funeral Chapel.