Allen Shelley, 48, of Watford City, N.D., passed away peacefully holding his beloved wife, Bambi’s hand on Jan. 18, 2018, at McKenzie County Hospital after a 16-month battle with cancer.
Allen Matthew Shelley was born in Edina, Minn., on May 15, 1969, to Gary Shelley and Diane (Ekberg) Shelley.
Allen grew up in New Hope, Minn., playing hockey and golf with his devoted mom cheering him on. After high school, he attended Mankato State University to stay close to home when his mom was battling cancer. After his mom’s passing, he transferred to Arizona State University to relocate where he could play golf year-round. Circumstances led him to Oklahoma City, Okla., and he spent nine years as a PGA golf professional before being given the opportunity to get into the commercial insurance business.
During his first year in the insurance industry, Allen had a financial advisor come to his office to enroll him in his company’s retirement plan. The advisor was Bambi Mason who was so very lucky to become Bambi Shelley on June 27, 2001. It was obvious to them and those around them, that they were soulmates. Bambi brought to the marriage two daughters, Cecelia and Taryn, whom Allen instantly adored and he stepped immediately and flawlessly into the Dad role. He became a PTA president, soccer coach and biggest fan and confidante to be close to the girls.
Allen and Bambi went on to have four children in 3½ years, Emma, Tucker, Amelia and Tanner. They spent the next several years changing lots of diapers, sleeping very little and building a strong “team.”
Allen was presented with the opportunity to move the family to Watford City, N.D., to work as a commercial insurance producer for First International Insurance where he worked for six years before his passing. While at First, he made lifelong friends who became family who he loved seeing and chatting with daily. If Allen wasn’t in his office, he was spreading his cheer around the bank and could be found seeing which co-worker had the best chocolate! Allen and Bambi knew that Watford City was their forever home and jumped into being involved in the community immediately and fell in love with the place and the people.
Allen served as the President for the Rotarians, was on the golf course board, was elected to the Watford City Park Board, served on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and he and Bambi started the youth soccer program where Allen coached each of his kid’s teams. Allen loved the Wolves and was present in his wolf gear at games that his own children played in and many, many more just to support the kids.
Everyone knew that Allen’s number one priority was Bambi and their family, whom he called “Team Shelley.” There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for them and the kids were able to get Dad to do some pretty silly things because they asked. He was fun and loud, sang songs where he made up his own words (a family favorite, especially when he put “Bambi” into all songs). He loved to golf, hunt and fish and do anything that meant spending time with the family. He was especially happy when the family bought a camper and began using camping as another family time opportunity. Medora became a favorite family destination and they travelled to a lot of fun places over the years. Destin, Florida and Mackinaw Island, Michigan are a couple great vacation destinations.
Allen was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer in September of 2016, and spent the next 16 months fighting to find a way to get more time with his family. He did everything he could, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.
Allen will be missed by his community, co-workers, clients and friends; but mostly by his wife, Bambi, children, Cecelia Shelley, Taryn (Blake) Wold, Emma, Tucker, Amelia and Tanner Shelley.
He was preceded in death by his mom, Diane Shelley; and Grandma “Lil.”
His family wishes to thank the community for their support, prayers and food, gifts, flowers and cards, the staff of McKenzie County Hospital for their excellent care and attention, their “framily” and his employers and co-workers for supporting him and the family during his illness.
At Allen’s request cremation will take place. His memorial service was held at the First Lutheran Church of Watford City at 11 a.m., Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Pastor Mark Honstein officiated.
In lieu of flowers please speak to Nate Hill for memorial donations.
Friends may sign the online register and give their condolences at www.fulkersons.com