Remembering a caring friend and wife

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Shelly DeWit was committed to serving Evergreen community

By Sandy Barnes

While dedicating herself to community service in Evergreen, Michelle “Shelly” DeWit inspired others, said friend Gail Ridings.

“If not for her, I would not have gotten involved,” said Ridings. “We’d see the joy and rewards that would come from helping others.”

When not working as a banking executive, DeWit spent her time serving Evergreen organizations. During her many years in Evergreen, DeWit served as president of the Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce and the Blue Spruce Kiwanis and worked with the Mountain Resource Center and the Seniors’ Resource Center.

DeWit also actively participated in the Colorado Special Olympics, the Babies Now Foundation and was president-elect of Women Helping Others.

“Her whole center was in Evergreen,” said Ridings. “Everybody knew her.”

Ridings said she met DeWit in 1995 at a chamber mixer after moving to Evergreen and opening her Tall Grass Spa business.

“That’s how we started a friendship,” she said. “We ended up sharing our lives.”

Ridings and DeWit enjoyed riding horses together — two older equines named Susie and Johnny.

“We were two girls riding out,” said Ridings.

Ridings said that the most important thing she learned from DeWit is the value of community service. Inspired by DeWit, Ridings said she became involved in the chamber and the Mountain Resource Center.

“As a friend, she changed me,” said Ridings. “I think she changed Evergreen.”

Even the last week before her death on Dec. 5, DeWit was working as a volunteer, said Ridings.

“She went to the church and made sandwiches for people,” said Ridings.

The last years of her life, DeWit coped with leukemia and lymphoma, said her husband, Greg DeWit. As a final attempt to overcome her illness, DeWit underwent a stem-cell transplant in March, which compromised her immune system, he said.

“She displayed calm poise and faced each new setback with renewed determination, even trying to help others with similar illnesses,” Greg DeWit said in his obituary tribute to his wife. “She was strong, brave and filled with grace to the end.”

While talking about his wife’s years of service to the community, DeWit said: “When there was a void, she filled it.”

While the DeWits’ children were attending King-Murphy Elementary School, she founded a Boy Scout troop and also coached youth soccer, he said.

A Mass of Christian Burial for DeWit is planned on Wednesday, Dec.19, at Christ the King Catholic Church, where the DeWits were married 31 years ago.

In addition to her husband, DeWit is survived by a son and daughter, three grandchildren, a sister and sister-in-law.

“She will be sorely missed by all of us,” said Ridings.


Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.