Dean Shelley

Dean Shelley

Dean Stanley Shelley passed away Aug. 8, 2019, at Boone County Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, surrounded by his family following a progressive medical condition. He resided at the Veterans Home in Mexico, Missouri, for 5½ years.

Dean was born June 29, 1928, in Desloge, Missouri, to Nellie and Emmett Shelley. He was a graduate of Desloge High School. After graduating from high school, he attended Bailey Deisel Engineering School in St. Louis and went to work for Cargill. Dean served in the Korean War from 1950-52 as a sergeant in the Army. After his service, he enrolled at MU, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and then a master’s degree in agricultural science in 1957.

Dean became director of operations for the University Dairy Plant, where ice cream and dairy products were produced and sold. In 1972, he started teaching dairy engineering and doing research in food science and nutrition. Buck’s Ice Cream was opened on campus in 1988, and Dean co-formulated Tiger Stripe ice cream for all Mizzou fans. He continued as an associate professor in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. He worked with the MU Dairy Judging Team, which traveled widely and won multiple awards.

Dean was beloved by colleagues, staff and students. He was a distinguished president of the Columbia Breakfast/Downtown Optimist Club, 1968-69. He was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta. He was active with Missouri FFA in dairy judging, receiving a Degree of Honorary American Farmer. Dean received The Spirit of Excellence in 1993, after many years of dairy judging at the Illinois State Fair. He became a VIP Blood Donor for the American Red Cross. He was an active committee member of Meals on Wheels for several years. Dean was recognized in Personalities of the West and Midwest in 1969 as a distinguished leader. He served as a member of the Board of Adjustment for the city of Columbia. He was a Third Degree Master Mason. He was a 50-year member of the American Legion. He served as a deacon of Calvary Baptist Church for many years.

Dean is survived by his wife of 68 years, LaVerne; two daughters, Debbie Shelley-Milam (Dale), Columbia, Missouri, and Donna Kell (Joe), Kansas City, Missouri; two granddaughters, Katie Kimble (Jacob), St. Joseph, Missouri, and Kelsey Whitlow (Austin), Platte City, Missouri; five great-grandchildren, Connor and Collins Kimble and William, Ainsley and Frances Whitlow. Dean was a very caring and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Harold Shelley. Donations can be made to The Alzheimer’s Association or Missouri Veterans Home, Mexico, Missouri, in care of the funeral home. The Celebration of Life for Dean will be at The Crossing church, in Columbia, Missouri, with visitation at 10 a.m. and funeral at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, with Full Military Honors to follow.

Arrangements are under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home and online condolences may be made at

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