William Christopher “Wiggy” Shell (affectionately known as Dad, Grandpa, Pa) received the blessing of life on December 17, 1925. A native of Georgetown, Texas, he was God’s special gift to Ethel Edwards and Jonas M. Shell Jr., born on the Shell Ranch, now known as The Rivery and Rivery Park. He is a descendant of Isaac Williams and Jonas M. Shell Families, who were among the first settlers in Williamson County in the mid 1800s. He earned the nickname “Wiggy” from his first grade teacher Ms. Annie Pearl.
Early in life, Wiggy was a member of the First Baptist Church of Georgetown, where he was baptized. After graduating from Georgetown High School in 1944, he joined the Navy in that same year. He spent 14 months in combat aboard the USS Makin Island CVE-93 (escort carries), but was initially assigned to VC-84 flight squadron as a tail-gunner, later assigned to Air Ordinance. They were involved in several campaigns including: Philippines campaign invasions of Surigao Strait, Lingayen Gulf, Iwo Jima, Battle of Okinawa and Operation Magic Carpet.
Early on he worked for the City of Georgetown Electric Department. In 1953, Wiggy married the love of his life, Evelyn Labenski, and started their family across the river, at 1402 Williams Drive where they lived their entire lives. During the early 1950s to 1968, he owned and operated the only public swimming pool in Georgetown known as “The Shell Pool” (located between the rivers on the west side of Austin Ave), and later he leased this pool to the City of Georgetown. The Shell Pool was a favorite place where young and old spent many of their summer hours. He operated this pool for the children of Georgetown and surrounding areas.
Wiggy worked for Lone Star Gas for over 10 years, while he and his wife Evelyn co-owned the Dairy Hill (famous local hamburger joint). In 1970, Wiggy purchased Labenski’s ARCO gas station, which he later sold. Then he went to work for Southwestern University, as the Assistant Administrator of Facilities and Maintenance. Later on, Wiggy worked for the Georgetown Medical Center, for 25 plus years, overseeing facilities and maintenance, while he owned and operated S&S Maintenance Company during the same time period. He dedicated his life to serve the City of Georgetown. Serving on the City Council from 1975-1987, he served as councilmember, Mayor Pro-tem, former member of City of Georgetown Recreation board, past Chairman of the City of Georgetown Parks Board and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Georgetown Fire Department for over 41 years, where he served a volunteer firefighter, Captain and Assistant Fire Chief. He helped shape the fire department to what it is today. Wiggy was a Life member of VFW, Scout Master, member of Georgetown Optimist Club and I.O.O.F #179. In 2001, Wiggy joined Faith Lutheran Church, Georgetown, where he lent his time and talent to many projects. Wiggy loved to spend vacation time with his family and friends traveling throughout Colorado and at his vacation home in Cuchara, Colorado where he loved to fish, hunt, and explore.
On October 20, 2012, Wiggy was called home into the Lord’s arms at the age of 86 years, 10 months, and 3 days. Wiggy Shell is survived by two sons: William Carroll “Wiggie” (Donna) Shell and Clay (Ann) Shell, all of Georgetown; three grandchildren: Darwin (Holly) Shell, Doree Shell Robinson, Grant Deltz; great-grandchildren: Hagen and Callahan Shell, Scout Robinson all of Georgetown; one sister, Marguerite Shell Murray of Georgetown; sister-in-law, Frances Shell of Florence; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Wiggy leaves behind several close friends, especially the B.R. Pope Family, Bill Edmiston Family, Don Davis Family and Durwood Hearn Family.
Preceded in death by his loving wife Evelyn Shell, parents Ethel Edwards and Jonas M. Shell JR., Brother Jonas “Son” Shell and wife Claris Shell, Brother Sidney Shell, Brother-n-law Tom Murray.
Pallbearers are: Darwin Shell, Steve Shell, Charlie Shell, B.R. Pope, Bill Edmiston, Duckie Davis, Bobby Bunte, Lynn Bizzell, Bill Cardwell.
Honorary Pallbearers: Georgetown Fire Department Honor Guard, Georgetown Firefighters (past and present), Dr. Douglas Benold, Dr. Dan Voss, Wayne Shell, Mike Shell, Johnny Shell, Ronald Fox, Logan Pope, Scott Pope, Carroll Johnson, Ernest Lincoln, Les Bunte, Richard Bunte, Bobby Glass, Roger Anderson, Anthony Lincoln, Chip Edmiston, Scott Hearn, Geoff Hearn, Matt Hearn.
A visitation with family and friends was held Wednesday, October 24th from 5-8 p.m. at Ramsey Funeral Home. Funeral services were at 10 a.m., Thursday, October 25th at Faith Lutheran Church with Pastor John Selle and Pastor Walter Pohland officiating. The interment followed the resurrection celebration at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Georgetown, Texas. Family and Friends were invited to the Fellowship Hall, at Faith Lutheran Church immediately following the committal, for refreshments and fellowship.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been requested for Faith Lutheran Church at 4010 Williams Dr, Georgetown, TX 78628.
You are invited to leave a message or memory in the memorial guestbook at www.RamseyFuneral.com.