Samuel Grantham Shelby


(Aug. 10, 2006)

Sam Shelby died peacefully Thursday, Aug. 10 in Bozeman, Mont., from a long illness. He was 82.

Sam was born in Joplin, Mo., Dec. 27, 1923, to Oscar J. Shelby and Betty G. Shelby, the fifth of five children. He attended Eastern Kentucky State University and was in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII. As a young man, Sam moved to Powell, where he met his wife of 59 years, Joyce Churchill.

They established the first offset newspaper in Wyoming at Powell called the Powell Press.  He became pressroom superintendent of the Cody Enterprise, introducing the first 4-color process printing in a Wyoming newspaper, resulting in the Enterprise receiving a National Newspaper Association first place award in pictorial work for Weekly Newspapers.  Pursuing his career in the printing industry, he became the first “Million Dollar Salesman” for the Heinsohn Printing Machinery Co. (later Heidelberg West Printing Presses) out of Salt Lake City, traveling from the Arizona border to the Canadian border.  He retired in 1978 from printing sales and became the Wyoming State Director for the Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company, residing in Casper.

An accomplished musician, Sam often delighted family and friends with music played on his Hammond organ. He and Joyce enjoyed the outdoors, whether it was fishing in mountain streams or hunting arrowheads and fossils. They frequently traveled to remote areas in Wyoming, Utah and Arizona to find “good spots.” Sam’s family always appreciated his scouting of new places to explore.

In later years, Sam became adept at using the computer to pursue his hobby of genealogy. In addition to compiling a comprehensive history of his family, Sam became acquainted with shirttail relatives from around the country.

Preceding him in death were his parents; sister Vinita Boyd; brothers George, Frank and OJ; and son Frank.

Sam is survived by his wife Joyce; daughters Jean Hales (Arne) and Dr. Jane Shelby; sons John (Brenda) and Sam (Ni); grandchildren Shelby Stewart (Cory), Brett Hales (Phuong), Kassia Martin, Sara Martin, Justin Shelby (Rita), Jamie Urruty (Terry), Jodie Kasteler (Jeff), Kristin Shelby, Katie Shelby, Ryan Shelby, Jason Shelby, Meaghan Hazell (David), Alex Shelby and seven great-grandchildren.

His family will scatter Sam’s ashes in one of his favorite 'spots' in the Wyoming mountains. For those who wish, the family suggests a contribution to the National Jewish and Medical Research Center at