Heaven gained a saint as Dottie Shealy, 73, passed away peacefully in her home in Mulberry on Saturday June 1, 2019, surrounded by family.
For the past three years, she lived with advanced cancer and was a model of dignity, strength and grace during a challenging time.
Dottie was born on May 28, 1946, in Lewisburg, Tenn., and grew up in Decatur, Ala., the eldest of four daughters born to Margaret Schoonmaker Anderton and Clebie Arnel Anderton. Faith and family were the cornerstones of her life. She attended the University of Alabama prior to her marriage to Frank in 1965 and moved to Mulberry in 1976. She attended Salem College, earning a master’s degree in sociology in 1983. Throughout her adult life, she served her community by directing the daycare center at Wilkes Community College as well as working for Smart Start and the school district. Dottie volunteered many hours at the Crisis Pregnancy Center and was an active member of Baptist Home Baptist Church.
Dottie enjoyed an active retirement, with many family vacations on adventures like hiking through the Grand Canyon, national parks, beach trips and many Kenyan safaris. Dottie and Frank served as missionaries in Honduras, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brazil, Russia, Peru and several extended trips to Kenya, where she touched many hearts and formed lifelong friendships.
Dottie is survived by Frank Shealy, her loving husband of 54 years; her children, Stacy Shealy Cantrell (Chris) of Huntsville, Ala., Sandy Shealy Edwards (Alan) of Birmingham, Ala., Jeff Shealy (Juliana) of Greensboro and Susan Shealy Utting (Paul) of San Diego, Calif.; her sisters, Ginger Shelton (Kyle) of Decatur, Ala., Jeannie Bryan (Ed) of Fairhope, Ala., and Faye Willingham of Decatur, Ala.; two sisters-in-law, Carolyn Tolbert and Sherry Snoddy; and her nieces and nephews, Kyle Shelton Jr., Michael Shelton, Brent Shelton, Craig Bryan, Leslie Bryan, Kenny Willingham, Kerry Willingham, Kurtis Willingham, Robin Davidson Caine, Lori Pullen, Tracy Snoddy, Danny Snoddy and Kelley Snoddy Ward.
Dottie had a special relationship with her nine grandchildren and will live on in the hearts and memories of Jacob Tillman, Justin Tillman, Kayleigh Cantrell, Steven Edwards, Andrew Edwards, Camila Shealy, Marina Shealy, Sophia Utting and Alexandra Utting.
A home-going celebration was held at Baptist Home Baptist Church on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at 5 p.m. Following the service in the sanctuary, a casual gathering for friends and family was held to celebrate Dottie’s life in the church’s Life Center.
There will be a private graveside ceremony at Roselawn Cemetery in Decatur, Ala.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to any of the following organizations which held a special place in Dottie’s heart: Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center, 301 Eighth Street, North Wilkesboro, N.C. 28659; Seeking a Reason for Hope Ministries, c/o Jeff Pinkerton, 223 Azalea Lane, Wilkesboro, N.C. 28697; and Heshima.org, Providing Dignity for Children with Disabilities in Nairobi, Kenya.
Special thanks to the medical staff at Wake Forest Baptist Health-Wilkes Medical Center, Forsyth Medical Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Wake Forest Baptist Hospice Care at Home.
Online condolences may be made to www.reinssturdivant.com.