April 19, 1936 to December 17, 2021
Oregon’s Arts and Education communities were diminished by the passing of Dr. Shelley C. Reece last Dec. 17, 2021. Shelley was a devoted husband, father, teacher, mentor, scholar, and poet. Born April 19, 1936 in Havensville, Kan., his Masters and PhD were from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1967). In 1969, he accepted a position as Professor of English at Portland State. During his 33 years at PSU he served six years as Director of Composition and six more as English Department Chairman. His young family accompanied him to Cambridge on sabbatical for the 1975 academic year. Shelley retired from teaching in 2002 after 43 years in education.
Shelley had many interests. He lent his lyric baritone voice to a multitude of local choirs, facilitated an informal group studying James Joyce’s Ulysses, and enjoyed getting away to the family’s beloved vacation home on Anderson Island. His greatest passion was writing poetry. He wrote daily, sharing his work in a front yard ‘poetry box’ for the community to enjoy. He met monthly with fellow poets for writing workshops, and served 13 years on the board of Friends of William Stafford, including five as Chairman. An advocate of lifelong learning, he earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry from Pacific University (2014). A collection of his poetry titled Nature’s Mind will be published this summer.
Shelley is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary; his daughter, Lesley; and his son, Dan. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Shelley Reece Endowed Scholarship for poetry at: giving.psuf.org/campaign/scholarship
Please share memories of Shelley at: obits.oregonlive.com