Monday, December 15, 2014

Catherine Shelton
Loving devotedly Caring Deeply

A couple of months ago, we attended the funeral of the mother of a longtime friend. We did not know "YiaYia*” well; just a handful of encounters during the years. Nevertheless, we quickly recognized her as a classy lady whose kindness shone like a bright crisp morning sun.

Catherine Shelton graced the earth for eighty-six years at the time of her passing.

November 25, 1927 -September 7, 2014

Loving devotedly
Caring Deeply
Living Life in the most
Beautiful way
A life that will never be

YiaYia was a beautiful lady inside and out. She touched lives in a way that made each and every person she came in contact with feel as though they were the most important person on earth. Oma and Opa experienced this first-hand at our initial introduction.

This matriarch lived life in the most beautiful way and was one of the most gracious ladies you could ever meet...she loved to entertain and was an amazing cook. She did everything with flair all her own. Always the caregiver, she was generous to a fault...she helped everyone, and even at the end she wanted to know what she could do for everyone.

Catherine was everyone's friend...she never met a stranger, never passed by anyone without a cheerful hello and a beautiful smile, and she cooed over any child she saw. While her greatest passion, family, was clear, we never realized that her close second was dance.

At YiaYia’s Celebration of Life at held at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral,  Oma and Opa were enthralled to discover Ms. Shelton’s yesteryears of dance. Catherine loved to dance and competed in many ballroom dance competitions, often winning the coveted prize. Whenever she was at a Greek function that involved dancing, everyone always wanted her to lead, because she did it best...she could dip like no one else!

At the festal memorial, Oma heard stories regaling how YiaYia would often practice and dance with her beloved little brother.

YiaYia’s brother George, who was in attendance, grew up to become a well-respected American dancer and singer.

He is best known for his Academy Award-winning performance in the film version of West Side Story as Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks gang!

Dearest, sweet, darling, and most amazing sister Catherine. You're the Ginger Rogers of my world. I have always loved you, love you now, and will love you forever! Let's keep dancing!!! George Chakiris.

Followers of the Greek Orthodox religion believe in eternal life. Thus the church strongly emphasizes a positive outcome in death — that the deceased is alive with God. While death is the separation of the soul (the spiritual dimension of each person) from the body (the physical dimension), the physical body will be reunited with the soul at the Last Judgement.

Catherine “YiaYia” Sheldon’s giving nature and life experience knew no boundaries. Oma and Opa were honored to have enjoyed her and positively benefited from her bountiful earthly essence.

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This post is part of a series that will be dedicated to the unique people, Oma (or her alias NASCAR Race Mom) has had the honor of meeting and/or interacting with in her stimulating life’s journey.

*"YiaYia" is the Greek word for Grandmother.

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