Today would be Shelly's birthday. We're sad to tell you, Shelly Anderson passed away very recently. If you've had any interaction with our office over the last 14 years, you know who Shelly is, and you need no explanation how important she was to us. For those who don't, to say that Shelly was our secretary doesn't begin to do her justice.
It was more than saying "she ran the place." Everyone who met her loved her, and she shared so much of herself with those she met, it was obvious she loved everyone back. Even people who only knew her by the sound of her voice over the phone. Shelly was that type of person. She fattened us up with bite-size chocolates and cookies and snacks all while preparing documents, fielding phone calls and making sure our files were all up to date and put together perfectly. She handled a bunch of trial lawyer personalities on a daily basis with grace and humor and the occasional "bless your heart". She kept track of the little things like whether we needed paper and file folders or keeping the landlord up to date on some issue, and helped us manage the big picture as well, often serving as a sounding board for what a non-lawyer might think about a situation. To clients she was a comforting voice, reassuring and confidential while wise and experienced. A human touch in an often cold and painful time as they faced the daunting task of defending themselves in a criminal courtroom or clearing an old record that didn't match who they had become.
Shelly passed as a daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother. She was all of that to us and our families here at the office. Not a holiday went by that Shelly didn't send home a tailor-made basket of goodies. A dog person all the way, even our pets got treats and toys sent home from time to time.
This past couple of weeks as we've tried to adjust to life without Shelly have been challenging. We've had to make a lot of changes. While we make those adjustments, we also field a lot of calls - clients or attorneys or court clerks. They haven't been calling because they need anything, just to check in on Shelly. All that knew her knew she was battling cancer, and they just wanted to give her a call and offer a kind word of support. Telling the people who fell in love with Shelly the way we did that she succumbed to her cancer was certainly not a task we looked forward to doing.
Confronting this presents us not only with the need to say goodbye to our dear friend, but also to assure you, our clients, our colleagues and our friends, that we are still here for you, and that Shelly's spirit, having irrevocably touched us all here at Fagan, Fagan & Davis, will live on in our every day practice. Happy birthday, "Shellinator", we miss you.