Shelley Jo Armstrong went home to Jesus on January 5, 2023 at age 61, at home with her loving husband holding her in his arms.
Shelley was born to Virgil and Judy Peterson on June 18, 1961, and lived in Armstrong, IA until her family moved to Rolfe later in her childhood.
Shelley met her husband, Chris, on January 25, 1982 at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, IA. They married June 25, 1983, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Rolfe, IA. They made their home in Mt. Pleasant, then Richland, IA, where they had their daughter Abigail on December 11, 1989. Abigail and her husband Jacob bore Chris and Shelley their beautiful granddaughter and Shelley’s best friend, Micah, on August 28, 2019.
Shelley’s true passion was music and she received a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1984. Shelley worked many years as an educator at Pekin and Highland School districts. Shelley had an amazing ability to engage and teach children and used her abilities to run an after school program called Club JAM (Jesus and Me), create a children’s program called Little Lambs (teach Sunday school) at New Song Christian Life Church, and organize summer reading programs at the Richland Public library. Shelley ended her career by working as a paraeducator with an amazing young man from 1st grade until graduation. She put her all into enriching his education and was incredibly proud of the young man he grew up to be. Although Shelley only had one child she was a mother figure to many other children throughout her lifetime. Shelley and her husband Chris were also daycare providers to their 3-year-old granddaughter in retirement and enjoyed being Mimi and Papa to little Miss Micah Anne.
Shelley was incredibly creative and loved to write music, skits, and create craft projects for club JAM, the summer reading program, and her church. Shelley and her husband Chris were wedding singers for many years and led worship at New Song Christian Life church their entire marriage. Shelley was the most thoughtful gift giver and would always love to create memorable experiences for those she loved. Shelley lived an intentional life that impacted many.
Shelley fought a courageous 5-year battle with ovarian cancer with Warrior Woman as her alter ego. She was incredibly kind to all medical staff who helped her along the way to the end. All who know or have known Shelley felt her impact deeply on her life. She was a great woman of Faith and believed fully that Jesus would heal her whether in life or death. Although the last few years of her life were difficult, she handled them with grace and laughter and kept herself in the Word of God every single day.
Shelley was preceded in death by her mom and dad, Judy and Virgil Peterson, and is
survived by her husband Chris, her daughter Abigail (Jacob) Schaver (Kalona, IA), her granddaughter
Micah, and her sister Vicki Lockman (Waukee, IA).
Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 – 7:00 PM Friday at Life Church, 2205 – 2nd Street, Coralville, Iowa 52241. The funeral service will be held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, January 14, 2023 at the church, Rev. Brian Swafford officiating, with a luncheon immediately following. Committal services will be held at 3:00 PM at Sharon Hill Cemetery, at the corner of J Avenue and 6th Street in Kalona.
Elliott Chapel, New London, is assisting the family and online condolences may be left at www.elliottfuneralchapel.com.