Marlene passed away in her home on March 29, 2023. She was born in Canby, Minnesota to Carl and Anna Richter on January 7, 1938. She grew up with her two sisters, on the family farm, five miles Northeast of Canby.

Marlene was baptized and confirmed in the Zacchaeus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canby, Minnesota. She graduated Canby High School in 1955. Marlene then attended a teacher’s college in Madison, Minnesota and taught in a one room schoolhouse in Canby, Minnesota for several years.

In June, 1957, she married Jerome “Jerry” Orville Shelstad of Madison, Minnesota. They had a daughter, Cindy Lou and a son, Scott Alan. In 1960, they moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota; later to Minnetonka, Minnesota; and finally in 1972, they moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. In Colorado Springs, Jerry and Marlene owned and operated various successful businesses – Alex Rents, The Cutting Edge, and several commercial real estate properties.  After retiring, they had a home built with a scenic view of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountain range.

Marlene is survived by five granddaughters and one grandson, Nicole (Jason), Tiffany (Greg), and Shannon (Ray) – Cindy’s three daughters, and Jamie, Brody (Matt), and Elias “Eli” – Scott’s three children; three great-granddaughters, Journey and Jenevieve (Nicole’s children) and Scotty (Brody’s children).

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jerome Shelstad; her younger sisters, DeLaine Buck and Carol Richter; her daughter, Cindy Shelstad; her son, Scott Shelstad; and her grandparents, Swen and Mathilda Swenson, and Rudolph and Minnie Richter.

Marlene was the matriarch of the family, taking care of everyone, always calling to check in, to celebrate good news, plan for holiday gatherings, and share in special moments. She was often found volunteering as her daughter’s classroom helper and as her son’s Boy Scout Troop Leader. Marlene had a tremendous life and spirit and never let her health challenges over the past few months dampen her enthusiasm, love for life, or devotion to family. Marlene treasured her German and Norwegian heritage, often attending different cultural events around the town. She found joy in watching mystery and western shows, was an avid reader, loved doing puzzles, and getting out and about! Her granddaughters and great-granddaughters will always remember her for her warm hugs, sound advice, and positive outlook on life. Her grandsons-in-law will remember her for her charm, her laughter, her wit, and wisdom. She was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church.  

Memorials in Marlene’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society® (

Marlene requested no formal funeral or memorial service. A private ceremony and inurnment will be held in Canby, Minnesota at a later date.

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  1. You are our favorite person… Love and miss – JNJJ

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