Shirley Mae Kelley Hackett
Shirley Mae Kelley Hackett passed away peacefully in her home in Corvallis, Oregon, surrounded by family on October 10, 2022. Shirley was born to Orville Dean Kelley and Vera Bernice (Brown) Kelley on December 1, 1926, in Maryville, Missouri. She was a first child, a first grandchild and first great-grandchild on the Kelley side. The family lived on a 120-acre farm in Northwest Missouri. All but 2 years of her first 14 years her family lived in this area. She attended a one room schoolhouse in Long Branch, Missouri until high school.
As the Great Depression deepened and bankruptcy loomed, Shirley's family (her mom, dad, and little sister) moved to Beaumont, California, arriving Christmas Day 1940. Shirley graduated in June of 1944 from Alhambra City High School. She was accepted to the University of Oregon and entered the School of Architecture in fall of 1944. After three terms, it was too difficult to work and go to school. Following her return to Southern California she went to work for Douglas Aircraft, learning to be a riveter at their sub-assembly plant in El Monte. As part of WWII efforts, she also volunteered as a Civil Air Patrol observer identifying flying planes in the Los Angeles area and reporting to a strategic defense center.
September 8, 1946, Shirley married Galen Edward Hackett in the Wee Kirk O'The Heather, Glendale, Calif. She and Galen had written letters to each other while he was in the Navy during WWII, and he was an acquaintance from her childhood in Missouri. Their first home was in Ojai, Calif. Their first child, a daughter, Mindy Jane, was born May 2, 1950.
The couple, anxious to leave California, moved to Oregon arriving in Medford March 17, 1951. The family grew with sons, Steven Kelley born December 9, 1954, and James Allen born December 18, 1958.
Agriculture was the backbone for the growing family in the Rogue Valley. Dairies and farms were a mainstay for several years. Galen and Shirley owned and operated two businesses, Rayspray field spraying and Hackett Equipment Co., a tractor dealership, until Galen's retirement. Shirley was a 4-H leader for several years. The family spent many days at the yearly county fair showing dairy cattle along with sewing, cooking, and woodworking exhibits. She also enjoyed being a Campfire Girl leader and Boy Scout den mother.
A lifelong learner and lover of education, Shirley received her LPN license in 1975. She worked at the Rogue Valley Hospital and as a private duty nurse. She later attended Linfield College and earned her Bachelor of Arts diploma in 1995 at the age of 68. She was an avid reader, mostly history, geography, and inspirational readings. She also enjoyed many hobbies including genealogy, sewing, birdwatching, crossstitch, and knitting. She always had a book or a project with her.
She loved to travel. After Galen's retirement they purchased a fifth wheel and had many adventures. Driving the graveled Al-Can highway in 1977 was an adventure for them. They helped with the Fall harvest at Galen's relative's farm in Missouri several times. They toured the eastern seaboard for the Fall colors. She set foot in 48 of the 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. After Galen's death in 1985 she took to the water with paddle wheel trips on the Ohio, Mississippi, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Columbia Rivers. She took a cruise from the West Coast to the East Coast, passing through the Panama Canal. Trips abroad took her to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Soviet Union, and Central America. She also enjoyed traveling with her grandchildren and shared several intergenerational Elderhostel trips with them individually.
She moved to Woodburn in 1986 to be closer to her children and their families. She was very involved in the Presbyterian church in Medford and Woodburn, becoming a Deacon and an Elder. She also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. In 2000 she sold her house and moved to Samaritan Village in Corvallis. Life quieted down for her quite a bit in Corvallis and she was again close to family who could help her, but she continued to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity for several years and kept busy with her hobbies. She moved into assisted living at The Corvallis Caring Place in 2017.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents Orville (1954) and Vera (1995), her sister Beverly Ann Kelley (Harding) in 1999, and her husband Galen Edward Hackett in 1985.
Shirley is survived by her 3 children, Mindy, Steven and wife Janet (Barker), and James and wife Mari Beth (Pierson); 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
There will be a private memorial service for immediate family at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to Habitat for Humanity, local hospice organizations, the Presbyterian Church, or a charity of your choice.