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Shelby J. Svenson


Milton, VT - Shelby Jean (Courson) Svenson, 76, died peacefully Wednesday night, May 8, 2013 at her home surrounded by her husband and children, after a long and courageous battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Shelby was born on September 14, 1936 in Malone, NY to Adelbert and Bernice (Revette) Courson. She attended High School in Malone before moving to Syracuse, NY. She then moved to Plattsburgh where she worked in retail sales at Plattsburgh AFB, where she met her husband. She married Robert W. Svenson on March 14, 1964 in Beekmantown, NY. Her two eldest sons, Robert and Stephen, were born in Plattsburgh prior to the family moving to Yakota Air Base, Japan in 1967. After living for three years in Japan Shelby moved to Loring AFB, in Limestone, ME, where her son Christopher was born. In 1972 Shelby cared for her children in Malone, NY while her husband served in Thailand during the Vietnam War. The family then moved to Webb AFB, Big Spring, TX where her daughter Melissa was born. Upon her husband’s retirement in 1976 Shelby and family returned to upstate New York eventually settling in Massena, NY for 10 years prior to their relocation to Milton, VT in 1987. Shelby enjoyed living in Milton and was involved in a number of civic organizations including the Friends of the Milton Public Library and later the Daughters of Isabella, where she served as Chancellor for many years. She was an avid book reader, she loved to dance, and she loved going to plays at the Flynn Theater and St. Michael’s College. She also made numerous pilgrimages to Catholic shrines in the region. She was a strong advocate for her family and friends and eagerly participated in local fundraising charitable events. She was an ardent supporter of the “Right to Life” movement.

Shelby is survived by her husband Bob, her sons Robert and Christopher, her daughter Melissa, and her children Jared and Hannah (fiancee Jim Roy and his sons Eric & Nathan). She is also survived by her sister Darlene Dunn (husband Bob), sister Marilyn MacAbee (husband Jon) and their children Jennifer Price (husband Ryan) and Angela MacAbee. On her husband’s side, Shelby is survived by her sister-in-law Joan Gould and her children Lee Sjosten, Lynn Sjosten, and Chelsea Ericson, her brother-in-law Chris Charron and his wife Alice, her sister-in-law Barbara Sjosten (former husband Charles Longeway) and their children Charles Longeway, and Nicole Davis (husband Mark) and their children Mia and Ava.

Shelby was preceded in death by her beloved son Stephen D. Svenson in 1999. She was also predeceased by her father Adelbert in 1988, her brother Steven in 2004, and her mother Bernice in 2005.

There will be a viewing at Minor Funeral Home in Milton, VT on Monday, May 13, 2013 from 7-9 pm. There will be a Catholic Funeral Mass at St. Ann’s Church in Milton, VT at 11 am on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, with her burial at Notre Dame Cemetery in Malone, NY the same day, starting at 4pm.

Memorial contributions in Shelby’s name may be made to either the Daughters of Isabella at St. Ann’s Church in Milton, VT or the ALS Association - Northern New England Chapter. Her family would be grateful for Catholic Prayer Masses in her name.

Online condolences may be made at

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