PHOENIX: (602) 906-9600 | PEORIA: (623) 486-1955

Date of Birth: July 18, 1926

Date of Death: August 19, 2021

Ralph William Shelby age 95 of Phoenix AZ, died peacefully just after midnight on August 19, 2021. Ralph was born in Marion, KY July 18, 1926. He was a graduate of Marion High School and grew Hemp in 4H for the war effort. Ralph graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1949. Ralph is a World War II veteran of the Navy where he served in the Pacific theater. Ralph worked as a Systems Analyst for General Electric and Honeywell. At General Electric, as a young man he created a program for the first computer generated paychecks at Appliance Park in Louisville, KY. Ralph was an avid hiker, and knew every trail in and around Phoenix AZ. He also climbed most of the tallest mountains in the west. He was actively involved in several hiking clubs in the Phoenix area, including the Squaw Peak Scamps Endangered Species. Ralph was the life of the post hike party, and regaled all who would listen about the adventures that he and his friends had while hiking. Ralph is proceeded in death by his parents Oakley Mitchel and Iris Cherry Shelby, his son William Oakley Shelby, Phoenix AZ and a sister Louise McClain. He is survived by two sons, John David Shelby and wife, Kristen, St. George Island FL, James Ralph Shelby and wife, Anne, Frankfort KY, a sister Grace Evelyn McConnell, Kuttawa KY, a daughter-in-law, Vicky Shelby, Phoenix AZ and his dearest long-term companion, Mary Plettenberg, Phoenix AZ. He is also survived by many nephews, nieces, and grandnieces.

Service Information

Funeral Services will be held at Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Thursday August 26th at 11:00 AM.


Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the Arizona Wildlife Federation.