A Tribute to GiN Founder Shelli J. Dawdy

Shelli J. Dawdy: November 18, 1970 – March 20, 2018

We could begin this eulogy with a recitation of the usual facts and statistics, but we won’t. This is an unusual remembrance for an unusual lady: Shelli J. Dawdy. She admonished us to keep this short because, in her opinion, long obituaries grow boring.

We have no doubt she would most like to be remembered as a loving wife to her husband, Gerry; the best of mothers to her three children, Nathan, Tarah, and Spenser; and a devoted daughter of her Heavenly Father, with whom she most certainly now resides. Each day of the 47 short years of her life were filled with meaning and purpose.

Practical to a fault, she saw problems in the world around her and dedicated herself to their solution. Shelli organized the first Tea Party held in Nebraska, she created and was the driving force behind the Grassroots in Nebraska (GiN) group, and was the main contributor of the many articles that were published on this, the GiN website, from 2010 until she was sidelined by the illness that would ultimately take her life.  Along the way, she participated in the writing, filming, and editing of a political documentary, A New America, which traces the history of progressivism in the United States.

A voracious reader, avid book collector, and lifelong learner, there were few topics concerning which Shelli could not converse intelligently. The lady had opinions, but expressed them with kindness and civility. She was mistress of the art of telling a debate opponent to go to the devil while simultaneously making him or her enjoy the trip.

Elizabeth Bennet, a character in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice — a favorite of Shelli’s — commented that Fitzwilliam Darcy might have talked to her more when he came to dinner, thus making Elizabeth aware of his affection for her. He responded, “A man who felt less might.” Shelli was aware of our love for her and how much we all will miss her presence in our lives. If that depth of feeling is not apparent to the reader of what we’ve written above, in answer, we can only paraphrase Mr. Darcy’s sentiment: People who felt less might have written more. Much, much more.

Shelli J. Dawdy, 47, of Lincoln, NE formerly of Sioux City died Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at The Monarch Hospice Home in Lincoln.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Monday, March 26, 2018 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Jefferson, SD.  Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.  Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday with a Vigil Service at 7 p.m. at the church.

Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

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