Obituary: Kenneth Ross ‘Pops” Sheley

Kenneth Sheley

Kenneth Ross ‘Pops’ Sheley

Dec. 10, 1957 ~ Dec. 2, 2019

With heavy hearts, we must announce that our jovial and loving dad, everyone’s Pops, has passed away at the age of 61. He died suddenly on Dec. 2, 2019, and ever since, we have all felt lost.

He was born on Dec. 10, 1957, in Grand Junction, Colorado, to Edward Lyn and Mildred Marcella Ramsey Sheley. He was the youngest of six children. He grew up in the Eagle and Grand Junction areas of Colorado. He often regaled us with tales of growing up in the idyllic mountain towns of Colorado and watching his dad, a master carpenter, build homes and buildings in the Vail area. He attended Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado. At the age of 19, he met the love of his life and best friend, Sheryl Kay Kenyon. They married in 1983.

He worked many odd jobs in Grand Junction, but fell in love with the oilfield and rig work in 1986. In 1987, he moved his family to Rangely, Colorado, and spent the next 30 years working as a service rig operator and coal miner in Northwestern Colorado and Northeastern Utah. He loved his profession and took great pride in being a “roughneck.”

He was known as a solid friend and teacher by all who had the pleasure of working with him. He had a natural affinity for being a father figure to all and he was well-loved by all. He enjoyed camping and fishing. He felt the most at peace and free when in nature. He also loved the sciences, especially astronomy and geology. He prided himself on being a humanist and freethinker. Logic and reason were his guides in life, along with his huge, kind heart. He loved woodworking and DIY projects. We never had to call in a professional to remodel the house or work on our cars. Pops had those things “under control.” He was a talented partaker of the “handyman arts.” He was a rock and roll guy who played guitar, even though he couldn’t play well any longer due to a finger injury. He had great affection for all creatures great and small. He had pets all of his life and especially loved dogs. He also loved working with leather and made unique, beautiful and interesting walking sticks. He had many hobbies. Too many to list!

He and Sheryl raised a daughter and a son in Rangely. He retired in 2014, and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, of which he had many. Both by nature and by nurture. Kids were automatically drawn to his silly and fun personality. He adored and was adored by babies and was well known as a “baby whisperer.”

He is survived by his wife Sheryl of Rangely; his daughter Kyeta Taylor of Rangely; son Ian Sheley of Rifle; grandkids Auron Sheley and NovaLynn Sheley of Rifle; sister Nancy Sheley of Grand Junction; nephews Wes Dollahite of Aurora, Justin Fightmaster, Shane Fightmaster and Nathan Mullenax all of Grand Junction; niece Gail Dollahite Casey of Broomfield; and numerous “adopted” kids and grandkids who loved him so.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Larry Sheley, Ronnie Sheley, Arnold Sheley and Rex Sheley.

A memorial service for Pops took place on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at the Elks Club in Rangely, Colorado, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the family directly.

2 Comments

  1. Sheryl,, we are so sorry for your loss! We didn’t know until I read this obituary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

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