Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Michelle “Shelly” Thorwaldson

By
From page A2 | November 19, 2012 | Leave Comment

July 7, 1964 — Oct. 24, 2012

A memorial service was held Saturday, Nov. 17, for Michelle “Shelly” Thorwaldson, a longtime resident of the San Francisco peninsula who “mothered” literally scores of young persons through the youth group of the Peninsula Christian Center of Redwood City and her home-based preschool child care business. She died Oct. 24 following a year’s battle with ovarian cancer and related complications and following two weeks of visits — with joking, talking and singing as her condition allowed — by family, friends and even a number of young persons she had nurtured at some point in their lives, mostly through the Peninsula Christian Center.

Shelly and her husband, the Rev. Ben Thorwaldson, raised in Menlo Park, were the parents of three children: Matea, 12, Logan, 9, and Nicholas, 6. For the past four years, they were engaged in founding a new branch of the church in El Dorado Hills, which was suspended due to Shelly’s illness. In an unusual gesture, Shelly and Ben decided to share the cancer experience through Facebook and an email list, chronicling the ups and downs, hopes and disappointments, and painful episodes of the cancer and treatment.

Citing Shelly’s “fierce love and support” in his life, Ben in announcing her passing at the Roseville Kaiser Permanente Hospital summed up a major part of her life: “All who knew Shelly loved Shelly, and her legacy will live on in all of our lives. She has been another mother to a generation of children and young adults, and radiated God’s love to all who came in contact with her.”

A native of San Bernardino, Shelly moved with her family to Fresno at a young age before settling in the Bay Area and becoming involved in the Peninsula Christian Center, where she was deeply involved for more than 30 years. She also did church work around the world, including in Hong Kong, the Philippines, China, Ireland, Alaska and Mexico. She and Ben met through the church school where she taught and they became best friends. They married in 1991 and spent the next 16 years growing the youth group many times over, often involving young persons confronting difficult situations at home.

Shelly was known in the church for her beautiful singing voice. She and Ben also organized the annual pre-Christmas “Living Bethlehem” on a vacant lot on Middlefield Road across from the church complex, attended by many thousands of persons from throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Real livestock, from camels to donkeys, sheep and horses were a major feature, along with a choir of angels and Roman soldiers on patrol. For four years prior to Shelly’s cancer diagnosis they had been establishing a small discussion-based church in El Dorado Hills, convening in homes and coffee shops — reminiscent of early Christianity in the first centuries after the crucifixion of Christ.

In addition to their children, Shelly is survived by her mother, Heidie Woodward; stepfather, David; her father, Wesley McAllister; stepmother, Roberta; and her older sister, Vicki Gravell and husband, Ron and family.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 72 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

 
.

Opinion

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 23 Comments

 
Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

.

Letters

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 20 Comments

 
Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

 
Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
.

Sports

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8