Jeffery Lawrence Shellhamer
December 29, 1949 – June 25, 2020
Jeffery L. Shellhamer, beloved father, grandfather and brother, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on June 25, 2020 in Longmont, Colorado at the age of 70. He was born on December 29, 1949 to Jack and Betty (Stein) Shellhamer of Eastlake, Ohio.
Jeffery grew up and attended schools in Eastlake, where he was an accomplished athlete playing little league baseball and boxing at the local gym. After graduating from North High School in 1968, Jeff enlisted in the United States Air Force. He was an Honor Graduate from Technical Training School, achieved the rank of Sergeant, worked on Aircraft Inertial and Radio Navigation Systems, and served a tour of duty in Vietnam during the height of the war. While stationed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, he met the future mother of his children, a lovely young lady named Sandy, who he fell in love with and later spent every dollar he had to bring to the USA. Jeff used his Air Force training, education, and experience to build a civilian career as a software engineer, starting as a technician for Texas Instruments in Cleveland, Ohio in 1972, and then moving his young family to Longmont, Colorado in 1978 to accept a position with Storage Technology Corporation. Jeffery worked in the high tech industry in Colorado for over 41 years, as a highly respected, brilliant and ingenious engineer. He garnered two United States Patents as an Architect at Dot Hill Systems in Longmont, Colorado and ultimately retired as a Principal Engineer from Seagate Technology in 2019.
Jeffery had a passion for cars, spending much of his free time repairing any old car he could get his hands on, and ultimately owning more than 70 different vehicles over his lifetime. He also enjoyed rock 'n roll music, woodworking, power tools and engines, and any little gadget that challenged his brain. Jeffery also had a love for dogs, and laid Bogie, Tasia, and Max all to rest. Family and friends were extremely important in his life, tough as nails and smart as a whip, he was known by many as “The Hammer”; his moto in life was “work hard, play hard” and he always enjoyed socializing with friends and gatherings with his family.
Jeff is survived by a host of family that includes his wonderful dog, Frisco; loving children, Lisa Marie Straight of Wheat Ridge, CO; Michael James Shellhamer (Christy) of Colorado Springs, CO; precious grandchildren, Ty, Isabelle, Anna, and Emily; siblings, Carole Fulton of Painesville, OH; Suzy Grabner (Jerry) of Willoughby Hills, OH; nieces Melissa Michaud (Alex) of Denver, CO; Maria Grabner of Cleveland, OH; nephew Daniel Grabner of Willoughby Hills, OH; as well as two amazing Ex-Wives (Sandy of Westminster, CO; Laura of Longmont, CO) and many magnificent friends. In addition to his parents, Jeffery was preceded in death by granddaughter, April Shellhamer. A Celebration of Life with Military Honors will take place at 1pm, Thursday, July 2, 2020 at Howe Mortuary Chapel, 439 Coffman Street, Longmont, Colorado, followed by a reception. All family and friends are welcome to attend and celebrate Jeffery’s life.
RSVP via text or phone call to Mike Shellhamer @ 281-904-2536 so we can ensure the event is compliant with current COVID restrictions.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Jeffery Lawrence Shellhamer
July 3, 2020
15 year ago, 5 of us, Pat & David, Wes (the planner) Jeff & myself used to go bike riding on Sunday's. In Loveland. My favorite memory of Jeff was that he always wore loafers on these excursions & quite often would have a shoe fall off. He finally broke down & bought a pair of tennis shoes for our 20 + mile rides. Now David, Wes & Jeff are all raising cain together again!!! ❤️
July 2, 2020
I worked side-by-side with for many years at Dot Hill. His office was next to my lab. He would write code, and I would test it. It was a good match.
I remember one time writing up what seemed to be an innocuous and somewhat trivial bug. It ultimately ended up in Jeff's hands to fix, and he stared at the code for days trying to find what was wrong. The source of the defect was elusive, so Jeff crafted a special debug build of the software for me to recreate the bug.
Unfortunately, the exact steps to recreate the bug were still unknown to both of us, so we relied on trial and error to hit the issue with his debug code. Over the course of several days (or maybe more like weeks), the two of us finally distilled the steps to recreate the bug with his debug code to a much simpler and reliable process. What originally took a day or two for us to hit the bug become only an hour or two.
Through his hard work and tenacity, he was able to discover the source of the bug and rewrite the code to prevent it from happening again.
And that ladies and gentlemen is how we got US Patent US No: 7,788,541 B2.
July 2, 2020
Like several others, I worked with Jeff for many years at Dot Hill and Seagate. Too many memories and conversations could be written about, but there's one in particular that still makes me smile after about 12 years. It wasn't uncommon for Jeff to be online at all hours of the night. But, this one time, I was up until about 3AM working on a really critical issue, when I finally had done everything I could, and sent an email detailing what I had been able to complete before getting too tired to carry on. I signed off my email by saying, "I'm off to bed before the Sandmen come and take me to Carousel", which was a vague reference to a '70s Sci-Fi movie called Logan's Run. In less than 5 minutes, Jeff replied, recognizing the reference, saying that it gave him a good laugh. Thinking nothing more of it, I went to bed. The next day when I got into work, there was a DVD of Logan's Run on my desk.. as there was on over a dozen other people's desks. Jeff had gone out sometime between 3AM and 8AM to procure a copy for everyone who was copied on that email. Jeff had instantly turned what was a very rough night/week/month of grueling work into something fun and memorable. He put a bookmark in my personal history that I will never forget. Thank you, Jeff, for all of the smiles and laughs that you gave so many of us, not only on that day, but all of the others, as well.
July 2, 2020
I worked with Jeff in Dothill and then Seagate for about 10 years. I will always remember his as a respectable gentleman with a pleasant and joyful demeanor. I always approached him to understand complex issues and he had a knack for figuring them out and explaining it back to me. He would always lighten up the mood with his witty quotes and puns in emails when we are struggling to find/fix issues in the code. I don't remember a time when he hasn't greeted me with his cheerful smile, whenever he saw me. I also, never saw him without his Jacket. He was a brilliant Engineer who loved to solve problems and find solutions. We had a tradition of turning on music in our labs while working Friday afternoons and I remember one time, he walked in while we were playing music, started swinging his hands and yelled "What!! No Dancing!!". I am deeply saddened by his departure and offer my condolences to the family.
July 2, 2020
I worked with Jeff at Dot Hill and then Seagate. I didn't know him well, but as a technical writer I sought information him as a subject-matter expert on firmware features he developed. Jeff was friendly and patient, helping me to understand how things work so I could, in turn, document usage for our customers. (Jeff, any errors were mine!) I miss working with him and will always picture him in that blue blazer.
My sympathy to his family and circle of friends.
July 2, 2020
Jeff was a pleasure to work with. He worked hard, always on the most complicated component of any project. He sought out complicated work. He had a brilliant mind and quick wit. This story is about a project at STK, with mandated 12hrs/day, 7days/wk until it was done. It involved design & implementation of software for cutting edge hardware. Exciting stuff to a software engineer, and Jeff thrived on that. No matter how tough the going got, Jeff had a way of lifting the spirit of the team with his daily injection of humor, puns, meaningful quotes, and obscure but pertinent trivia, in his emails. My favorite memory of Jeff was during this time when none of us on the team were getting enough sleep. Months had gone by and we were still working 12/7, and the end of the project was still far off...
The coding we do as software engineers can be complicated to understand, so we include comments in the code. Comments are usually a line or two of text that explains the logic so someone unfamiliar with that section of code can figure out what it does. The code I worked on interfaced with the code Jeff worked on. One day I was debugging my code and had to figure out how something worked in his code. So I'm reading his comments to understand how it worked, and nestled within the lines of his serious and highly technical description of something very complex, was a snippet from a poem by Robert Frost. I read "The woods are lovely, dark and deep..." and I'm thinking, what?! I was half asleep and my eyes were bloodshot and glazed over, but now I was waking up... I read again.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
And that made me laugh. I laughed hard. That was Jeff. The truth in that poem as it related to that seemingly endless project made it all the funnier in that moment. A moment I will never forget, from a bright and talented coworker I will never forget.
July 1, 2020
My condolences go out to all family and friends of Jeff's. I can say I was also a friend of Jeff ("Hammer") and I met him in the early eighties through my brother John Farace. I have very fond memories of good times and laughter on the many outings I was able to be part of with Jeff and the guys. We all loved our cars and we all worked hard and played hard. Jeff and I had a chance to reconnect by email last year when John sent us a group email. I exchanged several directly with Jeff as we compared notes on Corvettes which he was in the process of buying. It was great to reminisce and reconnect. He will be missed; R.I.P my friend Hammer.
June 29, 2020
Although I never had the privilege of meeting Jeff, I heard his name mentioned more times than I can remember over the years from my brothers, who spoke of him so very often. They valued his friendship and held him in great esteem as a highly-respected professional in his area of expertise. May "The Hammer" rest in peace and live on, in the hearts of those who hold him so dear.
June 29, 2020
The most kind and generous man I have ever known. Jeff and I have been friends for close to 40 years, dating back to the early 80's. Jeff and I were born a mere 5 days apart in December of 1949. We were so very much alike. We both had a love affair with old cars. Jeff had many classics.....I had but a few. So many good times with The Hammer....so many fond memories and for so many years. Jeff and I were known to our friends as the Arm and Hammer
We lost track of each other when I moved out of Colorado, but I am so grateful that we reconnected several years ago and have been in constant contact ever since , joyfully going over where we had been and what great fun we had over the years. I will surely miss you greatly my friend but I will never forget you Jeff ! May God bless you .