Molly Maxwell Shellabarger, 84, of Mexico passed away on Monday, February 20, 2023 at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia.
Funeral services will be held at 10am on Friday February 24 at the Arnold Funeral Home with the Rev. Chris Atkinson and Jason Smithee officiating. Burial will follow in the cemetery of Laddonia.
Visiting is Thursday evenings from 5.30pm to 8.30pm at the funeral home.
Molly was born on June 17, 1938 in Auxvasse, the daughter of Wilmon Cody and Elizabeth M. (Lee) Smithee. She graduated from Auxvasse High School in 1956. On June 30, 1956, in Auxvasse, she married Robert E. Maxwell. She passed away on October 31, 1999. She then married Wayne Shellabarger on October 12, 2003, in Mexico.
Molly lived a life filled with hard work, service to causes she believed in, and caring for others. Her work was often behind the scenes and she gave time and resources to anyone who needed them. She was a longtime member of First Baptist Church, Laddonia, serving as church treasurer for decades and working in daycare and children’s programs. She has often spread her love for Christ and her personal testimony, living the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.
After marrying Bob, Molly raised her three children while running a farm, raising pigs and hauling for her aging in-laws. She also welcomed two of her younger brothers into her home.
After her children grew up, she began a professional career that included many different jobs including: CNA at Pin Oaks Nursing Home, Staff at Mexico Country Club, Manager of MFA Garden Center, Fee Agent for the Mexico License Bureau, Agent real estate for Century 21.
Molly’s true passion, beyond her family and her faith, was to serve others. Molly cared for many friends and family as they struggled with health issues and often claimed people who had small families in her area as her service, such as a surrogate mother or grandmother.
She has volunteered with numerous organizations, including: Audrain County Historical Society; Mexico Senior Center, Mexico Elks Club, Audrain County Democratic Central Committee; Audrain County Democrats; Mexico school lunch friends. Other than formal organizations, Molly only helped people. If she saw someone in trouble, she always reacted with her: “How can I help?”
Survivors include: Husband, Wayne Shellabarger of Mexico; son, Joe (Sarah) of Mexico; son, Steve of Rush Hill; daughter Linda (Andy) Strode of Overland Park, KS; stepson, Karl (Jeanne) Shellabarger; 10 grandchildren: Maggie (Michael) Harrington, Evan (Caroline) Strode, Megan (Tyler) Huez, Shannen Maxwell, Madison White, Shana (Michael) Benedict, Jason Bowen, Nakia Bowen; Jacob (Dawn) Shellabarger, Kate (Adam) Haskell; 16 great-grandchildren; 3 siblings, Betty (Donal) Knipp of Auxvasse; Ronnie (Phyllis) Smithee of Auxvasse; Kenny (Dawn) Smithee of Ark.; numerous nieces, aunts, uncles and other relatives who all treasured her spirit.
Molly was preceded in death by: her parents, Wilmon and Elizabeth Smithee; four brothers: Wilmon Smithee, David Smithee, Clint Smithee and Dale Smithee.
Memorial donations can be made to the Laddonia Baptist Church. They can be entrusted to Arnold Funeral Home, 425 S. Jefferson Street, Mexico, MO 65265.
Online condolences can be left at www.arnoldfh.com