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Shelley Holly, 54, formerly of Escalon, passed away of Cancer of Unknown Primary in her Portland, Oregon home on Monday, September 24th, surrounded by family and friends. She was the daughter of Leon and the late Ruby Holly of Escalon. Shelley is survived by her father; long-time partner Carol Kafton and step-daughter Emily Kafton-Minkel of Portland; sister Brenda Ross, niece Paige Ross, and nephew Preston Ross of White Salmon, Washington; brothers Kevin Holly and Bruce Holly of Escalon; and a large family of friends to include Ward, Marian, and Corey Rogers of Escalon, and Shelley (Bonney) Fagin, formerly of Escalon and currently of Beaverton, Oregon.

Shelley was unable to complete high school with her class because of injuries sustained in a car accident in her senior year, but later earned her diploma from Escalon High. Her enormous tenacity for learning and quest for greater knowledge led her to complete an AA degree, a Bachelors degree in Political Economics of Industrialized Societies from University of California, Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa), and a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University. Shelley’s professional life included positions as an administrative assistant at Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco and an urban planner for an environmental engineering firm in Portland.

Shelley had great curiosity about a wide variety of subjects, and always sought answers to difficult questions. She thrived on reading; discussing politics and current events; studying history, with a particular interest in Europe in the interwar period; socializing; writing; traveling; loving her dogs; watching older films; listening to the music of musicians such as Billie Holiday; and attending theater productions. She loved watching Rachel Maddow; and greatly admired her latest hero, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

To honor Shelley’s memory, donations may be directed to Girls Inc. This is a national non-profit organization whose mission was near and dear to Shelley; she was active as a volunteer, organizer, and mentor. As the Pacific NW chapter of Girls Inc. says on their website, they want to “inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold,” and their vision is to empower girls and promote an equitable society.

You can find the Pacific NW chapter of Girls Inc. at:, or the national office of Girls Inc. at:

Shelley was loved by many, and will be missed.

Two Celebrations of Life will be held, one in Beaverton, Oregon the beginning of November, and one in Escalon, projected to be the end of February.

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

Oct. 10, 2018