Shelley Knowles, 65, passed away at Golden Age Care Center in Centerville, Iowa on the afternoon of Friday, June 11, 2021.
After a year of very few visitors due to COVID-19 directives, she was blessed to have seen two of her daughters and her grandchildren in the days before (and even the morning of) her passing. Although she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 57, her life leading up to (and beyond) that point was filled with wonderful experiences and loads of love and laughter…
Shelley Elaine Collins was born on May 23, 1956 in San Antonio, Texas. From 1958 to 1963, her family lived on the Zweibrücken Air Base in Germany where her father worked for the United States Air Force Security Service (a secretive branch). While attending Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio, she played the flute in the marching band and loved driving her friends around in her yellow Volkswagen Beetle. After graduating in 1974, Shelley went on to receive a degree in horticulture from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in 1979.
That same year, she married Reagan Simon of Kyle, Texas and was a homemaker for many years as they raised their daughters, Lindsey (born 1983) and Amanda (born 1986). Though their relationship turned out to be less permanent than either of them expected, they both went on to remarry and raise exceptional children. Shelley moved to nearby San Marcos, Texas where she went on to raise her youngest daughter, Emmalee Collins (born 1993). She had a successful career with Cellular One (eventually AT&T) in Austin, Texas for several years.
On July 17, 2004, Shelley was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She fell in love with Shane Knowles when he had visited her Kingdom Hall in Martindale, Texas and they were married there on May 26, 2007. The newlyweds settled into a house that Shane had admired for years in the town of Centerville, Iowa where he had lived for many years before. When Shelley’s family would visit, she loved taking them to see the covered bridges that inspired the name of the book and movie, The Bridges of Madison County.
Shelley was an exceptionally talented artist and gardener, and she was also pretty good at playing the piano and making people laugh. Her daughters loved her schnitzel, and they already miss her unduplicable strawberry-banana milkshakes. Over the years, Shelley traveled for work and with friends and family, making memories in places like Hawaii, Tokyo, London, Paris, Germany, Ireland, Maui, New Mexico, Colorado, California – and Las Vegas, of course! When she lived in Texas, she particularly loved spending family time at her sister and brother-in-law’s beach condo in Port Aransas as often as she was able to do so.
In Centerville, she enjoyed spending her time teaching others Bible truths as a Regular Pioneer for a number of years in the local congregation. Driving long distances in the surrounding rural areas afforded her many opportunities to take pictures of the interesting plants and animals she found. She was always known to take more pictures of plants than people, but she also especially loved to photograph run-down barns and cows.
Shelley is survived by her husband: Shane Knowles of Centerville; her daughters: Lindsey (Neil) Finlay of New Braunfels, TX, Amanda (Chris) Rickman of Driftwood, TX, and Emmalee (Andrew) Wade of Centerville; her grandchildren: Isla and Coy Finlay and Aiden Wade; her sister: Karen (Heinz) Roesch of Blanco, TX; her mother-in-law: Alberta Fowler; her sisters-in-law: Kim Duhamel, Tammy (Bill) Wells, and Carol (Bruce) Knight; Shane’s children: Jesse Knowles, Latisha Rider, Charlet (Mark) VanHook, and Jadrien (Brooke) Knowles, as well as their children. She also leaves behind many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Shelley was preceded in death by her father, Bryan D. “B.D.” Collins, mother Peggy “Joanne” (Powell) Collins, brother Bryan Paul Collins, son Cameron Preston, and many aunts and uncles.
A service will be held on Zoom on Sunday, June 20th at 1:00pm. Use Zoom code 241 240 2383 to join. A private reception will be held at another time. Interment will take place at the Marion Cemetery in Lohn, Texas at a later date, as well as a memorial reception for her family and friends in Texas. Condolences may be sent c/o Wade: 521 E Clark St, Centerville, IA 52544, or c/o Finlay: 234 Pinnacle Pkwy, New Braunfels, TX 78132. For more information, text or call (563) 554-9154. Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville, Iowa is handling the local arrangements for the family. Condolences may be shared online at www.langefhcom. or on Lange Funeral Home’s Facebook page.