Rusty Wire Shelburne, 61, Scotts, Mich. and former Rochester resident, passed away June 11, 2021. His tragically unexpected death resulted from injuries sustained in a fall at his home May 7, 2021.
Rusty was born in Noblesville Aug. 3, 1959. He was a treasured son of Howard Dale and Rebecca Jacquelyn “Jackie” Wire Shelburne. Growing up as the fifth of the eleven Shelburne kids, Rusty shared his childhood with six brothers and four sisters. During his high school years Rusty worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken. A young businessman, he was appointed as assistant manager his junior and senior years. He also worked at the Rochester Sale Barn on Saturdays as well. With great Zebra pride, he graduated from Rochester High School with his class in 1977.
In Kalamazoo, Rusty married the love of his life and best friend Miss Laurie Drenth, June 3, 1978. Together they shared 43 years of life’s adventures. From their union came a handsome son, Derek. The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of three grandchildren.
Continuing his studies at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Rusty earned an Associates degree in law enforcement. After his graduation in 1980, Rusty went to work as a member of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department. His career spanned nearly four decades. He initiated his career with the marine division, then moved to court security, jailer, road patrol, worked in dispatch and concluded his career with transport. His badge # 131 was retired in October of 2018. Officer Shelburne enjoyed serving his community, with a huge heart, he was always there to help anyone in need. Rusty was revered by his colleagues and appreciated by the citizens of Kalamazoo County.
As an American outdoorsman, Rusty took Laurie riding on the Honda Goldwing for many adventures over the years. He was a member of the Honda Goldwing Club. In 2016, he purchased his first Harley Davidson Motorcycle and got bit by the bug. In May of 2020, Rusty purchased a Harley Davidson Ultra-Limited shiny two-tone green that he and Laurie rode over 9,000 miles. They enjoyed many daytrips or long weekends around Michigan or cruising the highways of Arizona.
A camping enthusiast, since his retirement, Rusty has wintered near Apache Junction, Ariz. where he and Laurie could be near Derek and the grandchildren. They also cultivated many friendships while riding the ATV around the scenic mountains and across the picturesque deserts in Arizona. Rusty enjoyed the competition of racing his remote-control car. He thoroughly loved the game of golf and managed to get in some games with Derek.
Rusty’s greatest attribute was his love, compassion and desire to help others. He would be consistently checking in on friends, neighbors and his family to assist them with fixing things or solving problems. Paramount in Rusty’s life was his family. While Derek was growing up he was a three-sport athlete thru his school years, playing golf, baseball and basketball. Rusty was always there in the stands or gallery to support and cheer him on. Along came the grands and it was Grampa Rusty and Grandma Laurie ready to take them to the park for a day of great fun.
Left to cherish Rusty’s memory are his wife Laurie at home; a son Derek Shelburne, Phoenix, Ariz.;, three grandchildren: Devereaux , Deklan, Audriana and their mother Juanita; four sisters: Tammy Shelburne-See, Rochester; Betsy Shelburne, State College, Penn.; Misty DePoy and husband Timothy, Rochester; and Mindy Navarro and husband Hector, Rochester; four brothers: Jeffery Shelburne and wife Jeanie, Rochester; Rodney Shelburne and wife Darla, Warsaw; Randy Shelburne and wife Carol, Rochester; and Barney Shelburne and wife Lorraine, Stillman Valley, Ill.; numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews; his Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department Family, and the many friends he made along life’s journey from Michigan, Indiana, Oregon and Arizona.
Preceding Rusty in death are his parents Howard and Jackie; two brothers: Gary D. Shelburne, June 25, 2014, Scott B. Shelburne, January 23, 2016.
A celebration of the life of Mr. Rusty Wire Shelburne will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 19, in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th Street, Rochester, IN 46975. Friends may visit with his family from 11 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be in the Rochester IOOF Cemetery. Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to The Rusty W. Shelburne Education Fund for his Grandchildren to establish a trust fund to Consumer’s Credit Union, 1511 West Centre Avenue, Portage, MI 49024.
A visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 18, at the Langeland Family Funeral Home, 3926 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.