Services will be held at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a later date. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Leroy was born on October 1, 1922, to Leslie and Jessie (Goodwin) Shelhamer in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was the youngest of six children. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1941 and served in the Pacific theater during World War II, including combat at Guadalcanal. Leroy held the rank of Technical Sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1947. After his military service, Leroy moved to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico.
While in Albuquerque, he met the love of his life, Deana “Janelle” Searcy, and they were married on January 28, 1950. Leroy and Janelle had just recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
After graduating the University of New Mexico with a degree in geology, Leroy and Janelle moved to Texas where Leroy accepted a job as an exploration geophysicist with Union Oil of California. Leroy worked for Unocal for 25 years living in Lafayette, Louisiana and Houston, Texas for most of his career. Following his retirement from Unocal in 1977, he formed his own geophysical consulting firm, where he worked with his sons and daughter-in-law until his later retirement in 1987.
Leroy and Janelle retired to Albuquerque, renewing many old friendships. They later returned to Texas to be closer to family, first moving to Kerrville and then to Amarillo. During his retirement, Leroy enjoyed traveling and playing a little golf. His greatest joy was his family, especially the times when they could all be together like the recent wedding of his oldest grandson in Seattle. Leroy also loved spending time with his younger grandchildren including attending his grandson’s soap box derby races for special needs children or re-organizing his rock collection with his granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by his siblings, Sylvia Dossigny, Howard Shelhamer, Ellis Shelhamer, Mildred Keethler, and Ruth McDonald.
Survivors include his beloved wife Janelle Shelhamer of Amarillo; a son, Alan Shelhamer and wife Judie of Sugarland, Texas; a son, Bryan Shelhamer and wife Amy of Amarillo; a grandson, Jeffrey Shelhamer and wife Jaime of Redmond, Wash.; a grandson, William and granddaughter, Sara of Amarillo; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff at BSA’s Medical Intensive Care Unit and BSA Hospice for the care and compassion provided to Leroy and his family.
The family suggests memorials be to the Amarillo Area Super Kids Classic, 4221 W. 21st Avenue, Amarillo, Texas 79106 or Olivia’s Angels, c/o BSA Hospice, P.O. Box 950, Amarillo, Texas 79176.
Sign the online guestbook at www.boxwellbrothers.com.