Susan Rissler Sheely, 74, of Kabletown, W.Va., died on September 26 of complications from lupus, which she had struggled with for almost 20 years.
Born in 1947 at the former Charles Town Hospital on Congress St. in Charles Town, Susan was the daughter of the late Lewis Shaull Rissler and Kathleen Johnson Rissler. After graduating from Charles Town High School in 1965, she attended Potomac State College and then began a decades-long career in the federal government. His last position was director of travel management for the US Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia.
In 1975 she married Robert E. Sheely of Martinsburg and soon after moved to Herndon, Virginia where they lived for many years. In 2003, after Susan retired, they returned to Jefferson County, the Kabletown area she loved so much for its beauty, history and deep family roots. His family, the Risslers and Kables, had settled and lived in the area for almost 200 years.
Shortly after returning to the county, Susan became involved in volunteer work – serving for several years on the board of directors of the Old Opera House and as chair of the annual fundraising dinner and sales at the auction. She volunteered at the Jefferson County Museum for a decade, helping in many ways, especially in the meticulous preservation of 19th century documents. Concerned about the encroachment of poorly regulated housing developments in rural areas of the county, she has become an activist on land use issues.
With her generous spirit, sunny outlook, and warm, friendly nature, Susan made a friend to everyone she met. She was widely respected and deeply loved. His death leaves a great void in his family and his community.
Susan is survived by her husband of 46 years, who was a devoted caregiver, especially as his health has deteriorated considerably in recent years; Sister Patricia Rissler and brother-in-law James Rogers, Kabletown; Sister Jane Rissler, Kabletown; and three stepchildren and their spouses – Craig and Tina Sheely, Hetzles, Germany; Carolyn Sheely and Don Griffith, Falling Waters, West Virginia; and Keith and Jennifer Sheely, Rolla, Mo. Extended family members, many friends, three beloved cats and her special lifelong friend Bobbi Hough Roper also survive.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a stepson, Michael Sheely.
Memorial contributions can be sent to the Jefferson County Museum Fund for the Future, 200 E. Washington St., Charles Town, WV 25414. A memorial gathering will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are made by Melvin T. Strider Colonial Funeral Home, Charles Town
Please sign the guestbook online and consult its obituary.