Cover photo for Katherine E. Shelp's Obituary
Katherine E. Shelp Profile Photo
1939 Katherine 2021

Katherine E. Shelp

May 21, 1939 — January 31, 2021

Katherine E. Shelp
Sheldon, Iowa

Katherine E. Shelp, age 81 of Sheldon, Iowa passed away on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at her home in Sheldon, Iowa. Her Funeral Service will be at 10:30 AM on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at the First Reformed Church in Sheldon, Iowa with Rev. Dave Van Kley~ officiating.

Burial will be at a later date in the East Lawn Cemetery in Sheldon, Iowa.

Visitation will be after 3:00pm Friday, February 5, 2021 with the family present from 5:00 – 7:00pm at the Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Sheldon

The Service will be live-streamed on

Social distancing guidelines are to be observed and
Masks are required during the visitation and the service at the church

Arrangements are under the care of the Vander Ploeg Funeral Home – Sheldon.

Online condolences may be made to the Family at


BORN: May 21, 1939 ~ Sioux Falls, South Dakota
PASSED AWAY: January 31, 2021 ~ Sheldon, Iowa

81 years 8 months 10 days

10:30 A.M Saturday February 6, 2021
First Reformed Church; Sheldon, Iowa
Rev. Dave Van Kley Officiating

“I Was There To Hear Your Borning Cry”
sung by the Family
Processional: “How Great Thou Art”
Recessional: “Amazing Grace”
Pianist: Jody Van Kley

All of Katherine’s Grandchildren

At a later date
East Lawn Cemetery ~ Sheldon, Iowa

Arrangements under the care of the
Vander Ploeg Funeral Home; Sheldon, Iowa

Katherine Esther Shelp, better known as Katy, was born on May 21, 1939, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Thomas and Alice (Bender) Neeley. Katy lived in Sioux Falls until she began teaching in 1961. She died with her family by her side on January 31, 2021.
Katy’s passion was education. She attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Katy began her teaching career in Yankton, SD. After teaching there for one year, she moved to Sheldon, Iowa, to teach high school Spanish. During her first year of teaching in Sheldon, Katy met a handsome young teacher, Jay Shelp, who couldn’t help but ask her out; five months later, there was a proposal. Katy and Jay were married on August 23, 1963, at the First Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, SD. As they started their family, Katy became a stay-at-home mom, raising her three children, Little Katy, Anne, and John. As the children began going to school, Katy returned to her passion and taught English as a Second Language for Northwest Iowa Technical College. To her delight, she was able to accept a teaching position in Sanborn, IA. in 1980. She taught English, Spanish, and directed the plays for the Sanborn Bulldogs until they merged with the Hartley-Melvin District. At that time, she returned to teaching Spanish in Sheldon later ending her career at Spalding Catholic High School in Granville, Iowa. Katy finally retired to spend quality time traveling and enjoying her life.
In addition to her passion for education, she also enjoyed flowers and plants. Katy had a very green thumb and was easy to please with a bouquet of flowers as a gift. In addition, she thoroughly enjoyed music, reading, watching game shows and giving to any organization she believed in. Katy is well known in the family for a myriad of calendars collected from all types of charities including organizations like AHA, VFW, Easter Seals, Nature Conservancy, Special Olympics, St. Joseph’s Indian School, Diabetes Association and many, many more.
Katy was confirmed in the First Methodist Church. Her strong faith continued throughout her life. She was an active member of Bethel Reformed Church, teaching Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, singing in the choir, babysitting for Mom to Mom, and serving as the church librarian. Katy loved to share her faith with the residents at Village Northwest by teaching the Friendship Bible class. Katy was all about family. She was most proud of her grandchildren, traveling many miles and spending many hours at games, concerts, and recitals. She loved family get-togethers hosting many Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations, the 4th of July picnic, and lunch before the Sheldon Celebration Days parade, always taking a backseat in conversations to be the phenomenal listener that she was.
Grandma Katy is survived by her husband Jay, daughters Katy (Dave) Evenson, Anne (Peter) Jacobson and son John (Julie McMonagle), as well as 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren, 2 brothers, Harry (Val) Neeley and Robert Neeley.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Tom and Alice Neeley, infant brother Tom, and two great-grandchildren, Emerson and May Jenness.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Katherine E. Shelp, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 5, 2021

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Vander Ploeg Funeral Home - Sheldon

724 Sixth Avenue , Sheldon, IA 51201

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, February 6, 2021

10:30 - 11:15 am (Central time)

First Reformed Church

1101 7th St., Sheldon, IA 51201

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


East Lawn Cemetery - Sheldon

700 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 40

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree