Obituary for Shelley Steva

Shelley Steva was a committed teacher, civic leader, friend, and mother known for her love of birds, nature, reading, singing, faith, and adventure. Shelley Steva died August 23, 2021 peacefully in her sleep after courageously facing ALS for three and a half years, living her life to the fullest even as ALS limited her mobility and transformed her daily life. 
She leaves behind her daughter, Erin (Andy) Steva of Chicago, IL, her son, Leland (Sara) Steva of Apple Valley, two grandchildren, Quinton and Ethan, and former spouse Keith Steva. She is also survived by her father, Bill Carhart of Medford, OR,  her brother, Doug (Patty) Carhart of Santa Rosa, CA, nephew Gabriel Carhart, and many other beloved relatives, friends, and neighbors. She was preceded in death by her mother, Joan (Savage) Carhart, her grandparents, Walter and Regina Savage and Bill and Almo Carhart and other relatives. 
Shelley was born May 3, 1952 in Orange, New Jersey. Shelley’s childhood was filled with many schools and moves toNew Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, and Illinois. Shelley graduated from Wheaton Central High School in Illinois in 1970. Shelley went to the University of Iowa where she joined Alpha Xi Delta sorority. On June 2, 1973, Keith and Shelley were married at St. Augustin Church in Des Moines, Iowa. She then moved to Dinkytown in Minneapolis where Shelley received her Bachelor’s degree. Always a scientist, Shelley later worked at Purdue University School of Pharmacology injecting rats with Benzene compounds. 
Shelley moved to Thief River Falls in 1978. Over the next 40 years in Thief River, Shelley raised two children, was active with Redeemer Church, Agassiz Audubon Society, American Association of University Women, book clubs, scrapbooking, and at the schools where she taught including leading River Watch and representing her colleagues in the union. She discovered her calling, becoming a teacher (in Thief River Falls, Plummer, and Oklee) after completing a second bachelors in education at Bemidji State University in 1999.  Shelley was diagnosed with ALS on March 22nd, 2018 and completed the rest of the school year before retiring in May of 2018. Shelley loved trying new things, including going to space camp, trying new food, and traveling across the continent and globe (England, Australia, Mexico, British Columbia and Canadian Rocky Mountains) and just about every corner of Minnesota to track down new bird sightings. After her ALS diagnosis, she did not miss a beat, traveling to Iceland, Yellowstone, and Nebraska to see sandhill cranes. No one ever said she liked to clean her home. She especially cherished her children and grandchildren.
Services were held on August 28 at 2:00 p.m. Bradshaw Funeral Home 1078 Rice Street, St. Paul); join an ALS walk on 9/11 (Eagan Community Center); and share a memory through Bradshaw Funeral Homew website ( In lieu of flowers, please donate to one of her favorite charities (Nature Conservancy or the ALS Association). Your love and support made Shelly’s life rich and is greatly appreciated as we reflect on her impact on our lives.

Richards Publishing

P.O. Box 159
239 2nd Ave
Gonvick, MN 56644
Telephone: (218) 487-5225

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