Sheliah Shanahan, 59

RAYMOND — Sheliah Shanahan, 59, died on Sunday, April 13, 2014, at home surrounded by family and friends after a courageous battle with cancer.

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Sheliah Shanahan

Sheliah was born in Westbrook on April 5, 1955. She grew up in Gorham and graduated from Gorham High School in 1973. Her dear friends from high school remained her lifelong friends.

In 1994, she married the love of her life, her husband Sean, and they built a life together with their family in Raymond.

Sheliah worked in residential care including at the former Pineland Center, where families complimented the care she gave.

Sheilah’s passion was gardening. She had a long career at Skillin’s Greenhouse in Falmouth, where she worked with many dear friends and customers. Sheliah was considered a genius when it came to gardening. She had more than a green thumb, she had a neon green thumb. At her home in Raymond, she created a wonderland of plants and trees. Her garden was more like a park, and so beautiful it was the center for many celebrations including one of her son’s marriages.

Sheliah loved spring as it was the time of year to meet again the many birds she fed and befriended in her garden. She would spend hours in her garden caring for plants, and took pride in her skill to revitalize plants thought gone, as well as the physical strength she possessed. She was a marvel. She loved nature, even the occasional bears that would wander into her garden as she worked away.

Sheliah had a passion for animals and, in particular, her dogs, an assortment of Rottweilers. She was partial to her beloved dog Coda, whose presence she always felt with her.

Sheliah with her golden hair, sparkling blue eyes and wondrous laugh would light up a room. Her curiosity ran the gamut from politics to genealogy to UFOs. She once said she could trace her genealogy back to Jesus. She loved a good conversation with opposing opinions, and each discussion would end with laughter and hugs. Sheliah was pure joy to be around.

Sheliah is survived by her loving husband, Sean; daughter, Athena; sons, Justin and Josh; three grandchildren; mother Cleo Sanborn and her stepfather Dick; father Dana Ryder and her stepmother Nancy; sisters, Sherry and Erin; brother Lawrence; many stepbrothers, stepsisters; cousins; nieces and nephews; and many friends.

A visitation was held on Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m., at Wilson Funeral Home, 24 Shaker Road, Gray, with a remembrance service at 7:30 p.m. A graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, at North Raymond Cemetery.

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