March 21, 1950 — Feb. 28, 2018
Born the second of seven children on March 21, 1950, in Oceanside, California, to Percy (Barney) and Bonnie Barnett, Shelley Ahola would spend the majority of her life in Olney.
She grew up in a military family, living in Texas and Japan, before settling on a small farm in Olney in 1955. She attended Olney Elementary School, where on occasion, was permitted to ride her horse to school. Shelley graduated from Astoria High School in 1968, and in 1969 married Michael Ness. They would have two children, Michael and Matthew.
In the early summer of 1978, she returned to the family farm with her two sons to start a new journey. Back home she would reunite with her old friend Curt Ahola, who was throwing hay bales in the neighbor’s field. They later married. During their 40-year marriage they had two children, Jeremy and Kai.
Shelley would go back to work in the canneries, as she had done in high school, where she and others were known as a cannery “Tuna Queen.” After her children were of school age, she worked as the office manager for Kenneth Nanson Orthodontics, and later for Morrisse Logging.
Shelley was an active member of 4-H for over 25 years, either as a participant or leader. At First Lutheran Church, she served as a Sunday school superintendent, and as a member of the church council; she remained an active member until her passing. She often could be found taking the boys trout fishing, riding horses, coaching, leading memorable youth trips and dancing with Curt.
She is survived by her husband, Curt; her four sons and their spouses, Mike and Tobi Ness, Matt Ness, Jeremy and Kristie Ahola, and Kai and Katherine Ahola; her mother, Bonnie; brothers Mark and Lance; and sister, Joyce. In addition, there are eight grandchildren, one great-grandchild and numerous nephews and nieces.
Preceding her in death were her father Barney (2013); sister Karen (2001); and brothers Alan (Vietnam, 1965) and Michael (2013).
A graveside service will be held at noon on Saturday, March 10, at Greenwood Cemetery. A potluck luncheon immediately follows at the Olney Grange.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Lutheran Church, 725 33rd St., Astoria, OR 97103; Olney Grange Kitchen Renovation, 90029 Highway 202, Astoria, OR 97103; or Lower Columbia Hospice, 2111 Exchange St., Astoria, OR 97103.