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December 5, 2020
December 5, 2020
When I think of Shelly I think of her great big smile! Our paths crossed occasionally over the last few decades, and it was always with a big smile that she would greet me and we would "catch up". Shelly was a warm, brilliant woman and I'm sorry the world has just lost one more smile.
December 5, 2020
December 5, 2020
We are so saddened to hear of Shelly's passing. She had a beautiful smile and such a warmth. We know she will be missed terribly. We send our love and sincere condolences to Michael and the entire family.
December 5, 2020
December 5, 2020
Becky and I have been following Dave's email for the last 14 months with a mixture of sadness and joy. We did not know Shelley well but you did not need to be around her long before her warmth, compassion, kindness, humor and intelligence lit up whatever environment she was in. We know her passing left a huge hole in the Schermer family which can only be filled by all the great memories and love which has been so apparent in these tributes. Mike and Shelley have been a wonderful part of the Sacramento eye community and Shelley will be missed by us all. Tom & Becky Kidwell
December 5, 2020
December 5, 2020
Dear Michael, and entire Schermer family.

Deepest condolences on the loss of brilliant, beautiful, loving and creative Shelly. She always made every experience better just with her mere presence. I smile now remembering how she would laugh while at the same time trying to speak, and I will never, ever forget how hard she fought this last year and a half. She gave it her all and then some. She was a treasure, and will be greatly missed by many. I hope all the wonderful memories of Shelly and a life well-spent helps to carry you through this difficult time. Sending you all love.

December 4, 2020
December 4, 2020
Dear Michael, David, Julia, Natalie, Max, Holden, Sabrina and Felipe,

Shelly is free. A challenging final chapter to the life story of a remarkable woman. As children, our oldest cousin Michael, was legendary. So tall and graceful with this ever present smile that seemed to say to life “I got this.” He always had time for a story or balloon animals or to just sit and engage us smaller ones. A most elevated status to us that only grew as he became a physician then initially caring for the underserved American Indians. I mention this because when we met Shelly Berg she was so cool, brilliant, sophisticated, an attorney at law who smiled easily and was so impressive, we were pleased that “The chosen one” had found his match. Shelly was perfect, and Michael always remembered how fortunate he was.

From that fortuitous union, more remarkable people emerged.  People that completed Shelly. You were all Shelly’s joy. Her heart. Her love. You were all the warmth that filled her upon waking every morning, and the objects of her wishes and prayers of happiness until she closed her eyes at night. Michael, Shelly was your sweetheart, your love, the one you walked with and loved so deeply for those many, many years. How you held your damaged little bird in your hands those final months is a love story for the ages. Your loving kindness is a way of being that has set an example to all of us fortunate enough to be in your circle. As David’s biblical namesake might say, you have been a good Shepherd Michael. Shelly, the boys, your grandchildren, friends and patients have not wanted in your presence. I am not sure if Shelly is spreading her beautiful, powerful angel wings blissfully floating admiringly through space or resting in green pastures by still waters. But I do know she is looking at all of you with a love and appreciation we cannot even comprehend. You all were her heart. Her love. Her joy. We are all left to rejoice in that and honor the memory of your wife, mother and grandma. Thank you Shelly. You will be missed.
December 4, 2020
December 4, 2020
Dear Mike, I only met Shelly briefly, but I know she was an extraordinary woman, mother, wife and life partner. Your devotion to her this past 17 months has been incredible, and I hope the office hasn't been too much of a burden for you. I added a song by Hayley Westenra. She is a New Zealand singer, and this is a traditional Maori love song composed around 1914. It helped me heal when someone I knew passed away. Take care, Kathy Hwang
December 4, 2020
December 4, 2020
Mike and Shelly,
You are one in so many ways and your many memories live on . . . Love is what you continue to live. Mike, the family, and friends are all so fortunate to have known you in life as well as continuing into the future. 
To your spirit,
Frank and Laurel Sousa
December 4, 2020
December 4, 2020
On December 2nd, 2020 Michael eloquently closed the post apocalyptic chapter of Shelly's life. Between Dave's posts and Michael's blog we had felt closer to Shelly and the family than ever before. Every communication was printed for me by Patricia so I could absorb the words thoughtfully in my study. Those words have become a chronicle of a special family struggling against insurmountable odds . They triumphed with love even though the outcome was inevitable. All of the praise for Shelly from multiple people in their tributes is real and true. Shelly was that good and that beautiful. For us what is even more special is that her unselfish life preordained the loving care that she would require throughout her final passage. It was Shelly herself who was instrumental in shaping her loved ones response to the tragic circumstances facing them all. Everyone lived up to her high expectations. We are all left with grief but Shelly is free at last. Pat and Jim
December 4, 2020
December 4, 2020
Shelly,
You were a part of my childhood: Thanksgiving dinners and windsurfing picnics! You were an amazing woman! You were smart, kind and creative. And you embraced life from finance clubs to children's stories. I was lucky to have known you and your family. Peace and love to you, Michael and Dave. 
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
Shelly was such an inspiration to all those who knew her - so strong, so kind, so intelligent, so thoughtful, so much integrity! As I was able to say to her recently, such a wonderful role model. Even though we didn't see each other often, I very much enjoyed all the times we did get to spend together, whether in California, Chicago, Michigan, Hawaii, New York, Disney World...good times. And there was always once a year when Shelly and I had a special connection since we shared a birthdate. : ) Shelly, I am better for having known you. My Dad, Jessica, and I will miss you very much. Love you, Allison
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
A life well lived and an example to all who knew her.
Jan and I were touched by the compassion shown by Michael and their children and grandchildren. What a touching legacy....a reflection of the love and devotion her family felt toward her. Well earned! We will miss her.
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
Uncle Michael- You and Shelly have always brought the fun, joy, love and adventure wherever you were--be it at the dinner table or Hawaii. I'm so grateful for my most recent "girls trip" with Shelly in NYC and for our all our times together across the states and years. My dad, sister and I carry your love with us always. Love and miss you. - Jess
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
My heart goes out to the Schermer family during this difficult time.
Shelly lit up the room. She was the conversationalist you so enjoyed at the dinner table. I think her family has been such an inspiration in their love and devotion to her these past long months. I am sending you warm hugs and much love. Andrea
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
Dear Mike,
Your loving vigil is over, and now you will grieve for Shelly in your own way. Bereavement takes many forms, and Saltwater might be a personal one for you...Tears, of course; Sweat, remembering the tender toil of caring for Shelly; and the Ocean, where you and she ("water woman"), together with your loved ones, spent so many special times together.
Ed and I are thinking of you all...Karen
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
Shelly, I am so sad to hear of your passing. As probably the oldest one to leave a message I will tell all that I know and trust the Lord and know that he will take care of you. As a child I had a plaque that hung on the wall by my bed. It said "God is love" and I totally believe this. We all will miss you,
Bud Shortley
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
Hugs to the whole Schermer Family.
This year, I know it was difficult for we neighbors to not see Shelly in person after her heart surgery and than in hospice, but know she was always in our thoughts. When I drove home from work I would go by the house and send my prayers toward the big picture window in front. Mike, I loved it when you two would take walks down the street (holding hands of course) and stopped to visit and catch up on the happenings on the block. I missed you both this last Fourth of July, you were always the mainstays for the fireworks. And as usual, Shelly being who she was would go around and visit with everyone. So many memories but the best one was when she dressed up as a witch and made the kids answer riddles before giving out the Halloween candy. I will miss her and her beautiful, heartwarming and welcoming smile.
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
Dear Schermer Family,
Very sad to hear about the loss of Shelly but how wonderful that you got to spend so much time with her as she was a kind, gentle soul. I have always felt welcomed by your family and wish you peace and strength through this difficult time.
Todd
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
Dear Shelly : I celebrate your wisdom and humanity. I hope to meet you on the other side. Love you, Mary
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
We are all so sad to hear of Shelly’s passing. She was a wonderful cousin and a loving wife, mother and grandmother. I loved her visits to Los Angeles and seeing her for dinners and other get togethers. I especially loved the cousins reunion we had in San Diego and the party at the beach house in Oxnard. And who can forget the amazing weekend when Michael was honored by UC Davis Medical School? Shelly treated us to a beautiful lunch in your Sacramento home. Shelly was always the gracious host who made sure everyone was having a good time. Her love of family was endless and she was a role model to me. I was happy to visit Shelly in the hospital after her accident and will never forget her strength and her smile. All of us will miss Shelly and she will be in our hearts forever. Sending our love to Michael, Dave, Felipe, Julia, Natalie, Sabrina, Max, and Holden at this difficult time.
Love,
Bonnie, Allan, Todd, Rachel and Ilana Duboff
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
When my husband, Anthony, and I moved into the house kitty-cornered from Mike and Shelly 14 years ago, Shelly was the first person to greet us into the neighborhood. I've never met a more gracious, fun-loving and down to earth woman than Shelly, and she continued to be a delight over the years.

Anthony and I have gotten to know Shelly in a more intimate way from the emails and posts from Dave and Mike as they helped ease her journey into eternity. We are blessed to have had Shelly in our lives and we continue to pray for Mike and the family. Our sincerest desire is for the lovely memories of Shelly that they share helps them find the serenity, courage and wisdom to carry on with happy lives; as she would surely want that for them.
December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020
Getting to know Shelly was and is one of our blessings.
Our love and prayers are with the entire family and friends.
May your memory be an eternal blessing.
  Mickey, Jackie, Nikki and Cindy Lackenbacher
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

- George Bernard Shaw

Shelly -

And this is exactly what you have done.  You have created a wonderful space in time that I am so fortunate to have shared with you! You will be missed - and that makes me sad. But your spirit is an integral part of who I am - and that makes me content.

Thank you for being David and Ethan's mom. It made me a better person.
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
This has been such an amazing, heartwarming, heart wrenching time for Shelly, the family and all who knew her. I have followed from a distance, often thinking about Shelly's participation during our book discussions.
You must cherish the past happy days together and remember she touched and impressed so many. 
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Michael, No words can encompass the loss of such a dynamic life force that was Shelly. I hope you can find peace, founded on all the wonderful memories of your life together.
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
GoodBye Shelly, I really enjoyed seeing you and Mike every August in Honolulu and getting acquented with your two grandsons. You were always so even tempered and humerous. We had many nice evenings at the Waikiki Yacht Club. I remember going to the Elks Club and the band was a little loud, and Mike was irritated, and you calmed things down.
You left a little early, but we are all getting ready to join you. It's nice you had a good passing and time to say goodby to the family. We will try to keep Mike out of trouble.
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Mike and Shelly,
Kind and warm feelings fill my heart whenever I think about both of you. It was such a treat running into Shelly at ophthalmology meetings and having a nice "chat". She was always warm, funny and kind. One of of kind, loving person! Will always remember her..LOVE,
Patty Sierra
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
I am one who is lucky to have crossed paths with Shelly'and been graced by her spirit and life joy.  I am sorry we were not able to enjoy more time together but I am so very grateful for the grace and support she brought into my life during the time we did share. She actively supported my mosaic art work and my life efforts in general and inspired me not merely to persevere, but to thrive with joy and enthusiasm.  The last time we corresponded months ago, we talked about getting togther to celebrate the end of he pandemic. That will still happen -- we'll be celebrating in spirit!
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Michael and Dave:

Shelly was a bright light to all who knew her. Brilliant, warm, energetic, devoted—she will be sorely missed by all of us. Her memory will be for a blessing in our lives.
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Beautiful Shelly, your wings are spread out and open, strong and tender at the same time flying to eternal paradise. Thank you for all of your wisdom, kindness, learning lessons, love, support. You will be always and FOREVER in a very special place in my heart. Thank you for giving birth to your WONDERFUL and very unique son David, one of the greatest gifts I have ever received in my life. I will always treasure him with all my heart.
Thank you for the last beautiful word you told me while looking into each others eyes.
Lufi lufa
Love you FOREVER!!

    
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Shelley, a kind soul, a loving person.
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Shelly had a million dollar smile.. warmth that would make a cold day feel warm.. Love that radiated through out her sole.. My family will never stop loving her..all our love Ed, Sherry, and Myelle Lansat.. ❤️❤️❤️
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Dear Shelly:

May you Rest In Peace, dear friend. I hope that my dear Barbara will help ease your way. I will never forget the pleasure of knowing you.

Olev hasholom
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Shelly will always be with me in the form of her enthusiastic smile, kind words, and caring for her family and others. She was such an inspiration to everyone who knew her; such a joy to everyone near her; and, such a delight to be with... Her family and husband Mike each shared her many gifts, as did I.

She will be missed here but we will each see her again...
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Shelly and Mike were a couple that Carol and I always wished we had known better.
We have been touched by the Schermer family closeness, love, and caring these past months of Shelly’s courageous battle with the results of her tragic medical event. We are inspired by all of you. We are confident that the family will survive and thrive - as you all know Shelly would want. 

God be with you all at this solemn moment.

December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
Dear Shelly,
I and my wife Lan have known you after I joined Dr. Schermer in a medical mission in Viet Nam in 2010. He is such a great doctor with a wonderful heart, who always reaches out to help poor patients in Viet Nam. I admire him so much after the trip, and then we had welcome you and your husband to our house in Irvine, and we have known you since then.
We will always miss you as an exceptionally nice and kind friend with a wonderful smile.
God Bless !
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020
We are so saddened by the loss of Shelly. Mike - Karen and I have been married for 53 years and I cannot imagine life apart. But you have been incredibly strong for Shelly the past 1 1/2 years and I know you and your son and grandkids will continue to be strong and find solace and joy in the many memories and legacies that Shelly has left you. Mike - you are an incredible person and we pray that the rest of your life will only be filled with moments of joy and continued fulfillment in the tremendous care you give your patients and the friendships you have maintained over the years. With much love. Steve and Karen
December 2, 2020
December 2, 2020

Shelley was a special person, and will be missed by all who knew her.

She was one of a kind - spirited, driven, smart, kind and at the end a courageous fighter.

I am lucky I knew her. She touched the hearts of so many.
November 7, 2020
November 7, 2020
Dear Shelly,

You are the quintessential Grandma, the epitome and model of what a great Grandma should be. You’ve been in the lives of your four grandchildren from day one, enduring long flights and long drives for opportunities to play with them. You are the ultimate adoring paparazzi, taking hundreds of pictures to capture their best childhood memories and compiling them in slideshows and albums. You consistently write to them week after week sharing words of wisdom when you were not with them. You painstakingly hand make impressively complicated birthday and Hanukkah cards, never missing important dates, even when you were hospitalized. You took the time to teach them valuable financial lessons that would never be found in school. Your love of reading and learning demonstrated to the kids how important education and the pursuit of education is. And most importantly, you showed them that family comes first and that no matter how complicated life gets, being together and connecting was always possible. It is clear that cumulatively, your constancy, steadfastness, devotion, and deep presence in their lives have helped shape them to each be the absolutely amazing, driven, family oriented, intelligent, curious, impressive, loving, well-grounded kids that they are today. For that I am incredibly thankful. I hope you are proud of the legacy that you’ve left and that it brings you joy and peace to know that your hand helped shape 4 young people who will contribute positively to society. Thank you so much for everything.

Love and Respectfully,

Sabrina
November 5, 2020
November 5, 2020
Estelle sent this to Shelly on 10-26-20

"Sometimes a person doesn’t know the impact they leave on the hearts of others.

Hey Shelly,

It’s Estelle. I’m sorry I didn’t write sooner. I meant to. I thought of you and Mike throughout 2020. When I think of you and mike, I think about a Great Love Story. For as long as you’ve been married, and the things you’ve weathered together, and hard work you must have both put into your Great Love Story. While standing next to Dr. Schermer at a work function, or scribing in the exam room for Dr. Schermer, I witnessed so many times when associates or patients would express their wonder at Dr. Schermer’s career. And so many times, Dr. Schermer would say “I couldn’t have done it without my wife, Shelly.”
Maybe sometimes a person doesn’t know the impact they leave on the hears of others. Maybe they sometimes do. I want you to know the memory that always comes to mind when I think of you, Shelly.
The Cocoa Miracle
It was December 8, 2013, and Kyle and I were helping at the USABA booth at the CIM. It was early, like 7:00am, and the Schermers had been there since even earlier. It was the third coldest I’ve ever been in my life. It was about 35 degrees. (I’ve checked google to make sure my memory is right.) I had dressed warmly, in warm pants, and two shirts, and a warm jacket, and gloves, but it was still so biting cold that I could not stop shivering and my toes burned line an icy fire. I kind of wanted to leave, but Shelly and Mike were like bundled-up cheerleaders and I pep-talked myself that if they could do it, I could.

Waiting for the runners to come in was a long time. I heard rumor of a café down the street which hadn’t yet sold out of all their stock, and I took Kyle with me. Mainly for the warmth of the walk, and the hope of getting some warm drink. We got 4 cups of cocoa, for Kyle and I and Mike and Shelly. When we got back, we gave them their cocoas. It wasn’t long before Shelly and/or mike gave their cocoas away to others. Then Shelly went for a walk. She came back with 4 large cups of cocoa (all she could carry herself in a paper tray), right before the runners started coming in.
And her is the miracle.
She started dividing cocoa into empty cups. There were drinks brought by the Schermers to the booth, you know, bottles of water, soda, Gatorade, juices. My recall is the booth didn’t have an electrical hook-up, so the booth couldn’t provide warm drinks that year. The runners would come in, red with exertion and adrenaline. So, Shelly started dividing these 4 cups of cocoa, and every time I though she must surely be out, she’d pick up one of the original cups of cocoa, pour some out in a cup, and hand it off to a runner. And it was to a point that I was a little worried she was to dash someone’s hot cocoa hopes because she was offering hot cocoa long past the point of what four cups of cocoa should last, but Shelly knew exactly when to finally put the cups away when the cocoa did run out. Probably a dozen runners over a 30 minute period, huddled together to share comraderies and excitement and cheer, all holding, cupped in both hands so as to gain every bit of warmth, their cups of hot cocoa.
And Shelly, I can’t seem to get the exact words I mean about why exactly that memory is what I think of every time I hear your name. It’s something about the strength of your character just in that small moment, believing that you had enough, and not only that but more than enough to share with everyone around you. And you proved me with a good example to follow. You did that act, and probably never thought of it again, and maybe you won’t even remember it now. Sometimes a person doesn’t know the impact they leave on the hearts of others.

My love to all Schermers, my thought are with you.
Estelle  10-23-20

Addendum: Estelle and Kyle moved to Portland where they became man and wife.  Two packets of cocoa were included with this lovely letter. 

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November 29, 2023
November 29, 2023
Ethan was born on this day 53 years ago.

The Day Ethan was Born
We knew this could be difficult because it was a 60 mile drive to the hospital where Shelly would deliver her second baby. In 1970 we were living on the Papago Indian Reservation in the southern Arizona desert. Since the Indian hospital was for the exclusive use of the Indian population we were discouraged from using any of its scarce resources, so even though I had delivered dozens of babies at the Indian hospital we had to drive for 90 minutes to get to Tucson. My recollection is that Shelly’s water broke in the afternoon of Sunday, November 29, 1970.  My mother Rose was visiting from Florida to look after David, who was not quite two years old. Shelly sat in the front seat while I drove on the nearly deserted desert road. Her contraction intervals shortened to less than a minute as we approached Tucson. All the while I knew that in the unlikely event we did not make it in time, I could pull over to deliver the baby. We brought rudimentary supplies like a clean sheet, sterile scissors, and clean towels.  Shelly was relaxed and confident because she had absolute trust in me. All the while I was reviewing in my head what I would do if our second child was born before we made it to the hospital.
The contractions were about a minute apart when we got to Tucson. Our OBGYN had been alerted, so he met us in the admitting department.  Shelly was whisked to a hospital room where she could be examined, a few minutes later the OBGYN came to talk to me, man to man, doctor to doctor. He asked if I wanted Shelly to have twilight sleep sedation. This would make the delivery painless, but she would lose all memory of the event. Remember this was 1970.  It did not occur to me or the OBGYN to ask Shelly about this. Without hesitation, I answered “Yes” since I didn’t want my beloved to be in pain.  Later when Shelly learned about this decision she was angry over not being consulted. Again, remember this was 1970, so her reaction surprised me until I realized that I had stolen the precious, intimate experience of a natural childbirth.
Ethan was born about half an hour after my misbegotten decision, on a warm clear sunny desert day. His Apgar score was a perfect ten.  I saw him for the first time through the glass of the nursery, swaddled in a blanket sleeping peacefully in his bassinet. My heart swelled with pride. We had another healthy son and Shelly came through like a trooper. He had a future as big and bright as the desert sky.
    There is a touching picture in the gallery of tiny Ethan in the arms of his beautiful, serene young mother as she lay in bed recovering. It is one of my all-time favorites because he is looking up at her with wonder and she is lovingly kissing his little forehead. He had a world of support, love, and opportunity.

    I must have driven back to the reservation sometime Sunday night. Shelly came home on Tuesday. My mother and little David were there to greet Shelly and Ethan with a welcome sign and flowers. It was a perfect beginning, with a healthy pink infant and a strong stoic mother. This was exactly what we expected at that time. We had a storybook life where only good things happened. Shelly forgave me and we walked down the path of the future with smiles and unbounded optimism, not willing to believe that the uncertain journey we call life could ever bring us harm.
November 6, 2023
November 6, 2023
Hi Grandma!

I hope you're doing great. I can't believe I'm already in my senior year of college and Holden's up here with me just beginning as a freshman. This year will be one of reflection, closure, and new beginnings as I begin the medical school application process and connect with friends old and new. I'm really excited and lucky to have a few trips lined up - the first of which is my Vancouver Thanksgiving trip with my 'Iolani friends. It's thanks to you that I can have experiences like these during my youth that will stick with me forever and serve as very welcome breaks in what can be a rough academic year. It's also been so good to see grandpa more as he's mellowed out and is making the most of life recently. Thinking of you always and miss you so much.

LUFE LUFA,
Max
August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023
Shelly’s immediate universe may have dimmed, but her brightest stars are burning bright with promising futures. Her love lives on with her lasting focus, effort and time spent with her precious husband, beloved family (children and grandchildren) and friends. May her loving legacy live on with Divine grace and Joy. Warmest Aloha, Duke and Deborah Wagner
Her Life

Shelly Schermer - June 29, 1944 to December 2, 2020

December 2, 2020
Rochelle Berg Schermer was hit by a thunderbolt on June 28, 2019, when her aorta suddenly ripped apart. This was one day before her 75th birthday. The stars lined up to keep her alive, but she suffered small strokes and spinal cord damage which left her a paraplegic. After nine hours of open heart surgery, two months of excellent care at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and a month in skilled nursing, it was back to the East Sacramento home that she occupied and loved for 42 years. No longer able to walk, let alone climb stairs, Shelly moved into the converted dining room. This kept her in the mainstream of the home. The large windows provided comforting sunlight and garden views as the seasons changed.

At age 76, she was on a new uncharted journey that gave Michael, her husband of 54 years, a seldom received opportunity to pay her back for decades of love, unconditional support and sage advice. Shelly made a remarkable adjustment to her abrupt loss of independence, but the beating her body had endured was eroding her new normal. After months  of almost imperceptible decline, she all but stopped eating and drinking. This prompted her last hospital admission. In four days, it was determined that the only options to prolong her life as an aged paraplegic were ones she firmly rejected. At home on hospice care, her son Dave and all four of her beloved teenaged grandchildren congregated; Julia & Natalie from Ventura, Max from Boston and Holden from Honolulu. Each had priceless private time with Shelly. Her last days were colored by a unique brew of love, comfort, sadness and teenage cavorting.

Shelly’s journey to life everlasting begins in Chicago in 1944 as the daughter of Henry and Doris and the little sister of Larry. When she was ten, the family of four moved to Evanston, Illinois. Here Shelly was a member of the Y Club and the Evanston Township High School class of 1962. Her next stop was the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where she joined the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority and graduated in 1966. One spring day in 1965, on the steps of the Sammy fraternity house, she met Michael. They were married in Ann Arbor in December of that same year. It was the beginning of the treasured, categorical support she provided until that shocking day in June 2019. Along the way, Shelly put Michael through medical school by working as a high school teacher in Pinkney, Michigan. She gave birth to two remarkable boys, David and Ethan,  who spent two of their childhood years with the family on the Papago Indian Reservation in Arizona. When they moved to Davis in 1972, Shelly decided to attend law school, first at McGeorge, then at UC Davis King Hall, where she was Order of the Coif, graduating number two in the class of 1977. A year later, the family made its last move to the house on the corner in East Sacramento known affectionately as “Cleaver Hill.”

Her first job as an attorney was with Blease Vanderlaan and Rothschild, she subsequently worked with Boling Pothoven, Kronick Moskovitz and finally Zarick Harlen. Shelly was able to use her legal background to excel at financial planning. In addition, she served on the boards of Sacramento’s B’nai Israel congregation, The Jewish Community Relations Council and for several years she was the president of the Fortune Cookies investment club. Her love of reading made it easy for her to be active in two book clubs, the Medical Alliance book club and Rabbi Alfi’s book club. For a time, she was a docent at the Crocker Art Museum. Late in life, Shelly became an enthusiastic advocate of DemsVote. She also returned to teaching by volunteering for both Reading Partners and the START program at Jedediah Smith Elementary School.

Shelly always said, “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” but she was not prepared for the deepest cut of all when her beloved son Ethan suddenly and unexpectedly died in 2009. The serenity prayer helped her to heal and gave her the strength to provide essential support for others at that tragic time. Her last breath was taken on Wednesday December 2, 2020  at home, cradled in the arms of Michael and David. Now she rests with her son Ethan, her father who was her role model and her dear mother.

Shelly put her funeral arrangements entirely in Michael’s hands. A small service was held for the immediate family. Michael asks only that those who would have attended a memorial devote an equivalent amount of time to some form of community service as a way to honor Shelly by making the world just a little bit better.

 For details of Shelly's Aorta Journey click here to see Michael's blog.

Ethan Schermer 1970 - 2009

March 18, 2021
For Shelly the loss of Ethan far exceeded the loss of her legs and her independence.  Now they rest together, in peace, having reached their final destinations.  

                           Birth is a beginning
                          And death a destination
                          And life is a journey
                          A sacred pilgrimage to life everlasting

   This is a link to Ethan's memorial website created in 2009.



Recent stories
November 29, 2023
The Day Ethan was Born

          We knew this could be difficult because it was a 60 mile drive to the hospital where Shelly would deliver her second baby.  In 1970 we were living on the Papago Indian Reservation in the southern Arizona desert.  Since the Indian hospital was for the exclusive use of the Indian population we were discouraged from using any of its scarce resources, so even though I had delivered dozens of babies at the Indian hospital we had to drive for 90 minutes to get to Tucson. My recollection is that Shelly’s water broke in the afternoon of Sunday, November 29, 1970.   My mother Rose was visiting from Florida to look after David, who was not quite two years old.  Shelly sat in the front seat while I drove on the nearly deserted desert road.  Her contraction intervals shortened to less than a minute as we approached Tucson. All the while I knew that in the unlikely event we did not make it in time, I could pull over to deliver the baby.  We brought rudimentary supplies like a clean sheet, sterile scissors, and clean towels.    Shelly was relaxed and confident because she had absolute trust in me.  All the while I was reviewing in my head what I would do if our second child was born before we made it to the hospital.

          The contractions were about a minute apart when we got to  Tucson.  Our OBGYN had been alerted, so he met us in the admitting department.   Shelly was whisked to a hospital room where she could be examined, a few minutes later the OBGYN came to talk to me, man to man, doctor to doctor.  He asked if I wanted Shelly to have twilight sleep sedation.  This would make the delivery painless, but she would lose all memory of the event.  Remember this was 1970.   It did not occur to me or the OBGYN to ask Shelly about this.  Without hesitation, I answered “Yes” since I didn’t want my beloved to be in pain.   Later when Shelly learned about this decision she was angry over not being consulted.  Again, remember this was 1970, so her reaction surprised me until I realized that I had stolen the precious, intimate experience of a natural childbirth.

 Ethan was born about half an hour after my misbegotten decision, on a warm clear sunny desert day. His Apgar score was a perfect ten.    I saw him for the first time through the glass of the nursery, swaddled in a blanket sleeping peacefully in his bassinet.  My heart swelled with pride.  We had another healthy son and Shelly came through like a trooper.  He had a future as big and bright as the desert sky.

This is a touching picture of tiny Ethan in the arms of his beautiful, serene young mother as she lay in bed recovering.  It is one of my all-time favorites because he is looking up at her with wonder and she is lovingly kissing his little forehead.  He had a world of support, love, and opportunity.

     I  must have driven back to the reservation sometime Sunday night.  Shelly came home on Tuesday.  My mother and little David were there to greet Shelly and Ethan with a welcome sign and flowers.  It was a perfect beginning, with a healthy pink infant and a strong stoic mother.  This was exactly what we expected at that time.  We had a storybook life where only good things happened.  Shelly forgave me and we walked down the path of the future with smiles and unbounded optimism, not willing to believe that the uncertain journey we call life could ever bring us harm.

November 4, 2022
This week, almost a full two years since Dear Shelly passed, I began a serious de-cluttering project.  Phase one is Shelly’s Paradise Room, her study with the blue leather LazyBoy, her computer, her files, a TV, loads of shelf space, and certainly not least, Jenny and Blinky.   The shelves were piled mainly with art supplies and examples of her artwork.  I knew that she wanted to improve at this amateur pastime that she enjoyed so much.  She had taken a few courses at Sac. City and once even drove by herself to Yosemite for three days of outdoor instruction in one of our favorite places.

                I discovered some things that, for me, are treasures.  About 10 years ago, she made a picture book based on “My Favorite Things” from “Sound of Music.”  This featured drawings of all the grandchildren.  It was something I thought was just for the family.  Today I  learned that she had submitted it to a few publishers.  This solicitation is either never shared with me or something I forgot.  Odds are it is the former.  I can see her analytical mind reasoning that an acceptance would be shared with joy and pride, whereas a rejection could be kept quite personal.  There were a couple of formal polite rejection letters in her files.  The little picture book is still on a shelf in her study.  I think she did have copies made for the kids.

                Three of her works are on display in the house.  Right now I am looking at a pencil drawing self-portrait that hangs by my desk.  A blue and white ink abstract is on another wall in the Cave, pretty sure this was done even before I met her.  Many years ago she focused on images of fountains.  One of these called “Study Break” is on the wall in the bathroom I use at least twice every day.  It is small, well-composed, and shows a lot of promise.

                Two other self-portraits are worth framing, so I’ll have this done.  They measure about 11 by 13 inches.  With some luck, these framed pieces, along with the aforementioned items will become family heirlooms.  One of the two discoveries has a red white and blue American Flag theme.  I call this the “Fourth of Shelly,” or perhaps "Red White & Shelly," the other is a swirling line drawing in black and white.



Shelly's bench is in a shaded area facing the front of Shields library.

July 30, 2021
Shelly lived in Davis for seven years before moving to Sacramento.  She loved being a student so it is appropriate that she have a bench on the UCD campus.  Julia and Natalie were among the first to grace Shelly's bench when they visited Sacramento in July, 2021.

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