William Dodds Shellenberger

1930 - 2012

Hi. I'm Dave Shellenberger. I've been maintaining this Web site for more than 12 years, and it has always been a place for sharing among family and friends. While it was never intended for the general public, my editorial policy always included trying to maintain a journalistic objectivity, which meant that narration would usually be in a third person voice. Because of the deeply personal nature or this page, I will forego that convention.

My father passed away on January 11, 2012. Two days earlier he had suffered a massive brain stem stroke. He died with his three sons at his side and in accordance with his wishes to forego invasive interventions in such circumstances. The following is the original, unedited text that he wrote to be used for his obituary. The Sharon Herald ran a slightly edited version several days later.

Dr. William Dodds Shellenberger, a longtime dental practitioner in Shenango Valley, has died at the age of 81. He was born in Farrell, the son of Dr. Delmar Alvin and Marian Dodds Shellenberger. He served as an enlisted man in the US Army. His education was at Ohio Wesleyan University and the School of Dentistry at the University of Pittsburgh.

He is survived by Suzanne Lee, three sons, David of Tucson, Dr. Richard of Ann Arbor, Dr. Thomas of Orlando, their mother Nancy Lazear of Naples, a granddaughter, Victoria Rebecca, and a sister, Audrey Hamilton of Hermitage. He was preceeded in death by a sister, Jean Fulmer of Dallas.

His hobby as a boy was raising chickens and he provided many valley residents with fresh eggs and fryers during and after World War II. He was always captivated by airplanes and together with Bill Sparks, Fred Muder and Jeff Foltz built and flew six airplanes.

He was very active professionally, serving in local, state and national dental associations. He instituted continuing education programs for Pennsylvania dentists. He strongly campaigned for and finally achieved fluoridation of the Shenango Valley water supply and was given the Outstanding Young Man award for his efforts. Post graduate honors were granted by the International College of Dentists and several state and national groups. He instructed at post graduate seminars at University of Pittsburgh.

His remains have been moved as a donor to Anatomy Gifts Registry.

In the following pages we'll share some pictures and recollections celebrating Dad's life. In some measure the whole of shellenberger.net is a tribute to my father, but in this section I'll include some new scans of old photos and such. >>NEXT>>

The photo to the right was likely taken sometime in the early 70s, possibly at a dental meeting (thus the tie).


For more about his airplanes, see the Goatworks pages.

For the posthumous adventures of his hat, see Utah II.

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