Shea Ritchie Belew: June 18, 1981 – Oct. 5, 2014

November 2014 Posted in People

Surrounded by her loving family, Shea Ritchie Belew passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 5, 2014 in Eugene at the age of 33.

Shea was born in Portland and spent her first five years there before moving to Silverton with her family. She was active, happy and creative, as well as an outstanding student throughout her childhood. She loved spending time with her grandparents at the beach and going hiking and skiing with her family. Shea developed a love of running during her high school years, and won many conference and team honors during her four years of running on the cross country and track teams at Silverton High School.

Shea began travelling internationally with her parents at the age of 13, and she loved the adventure of exploring new cities and regions. She visited the British Isles several times, lived and studied for a year in Salzburg, Austria, and traveled extensively throughout Europe. She went to China on a sports exchange tour, and, later, made many trips to Mexico.

After graduating from Silverton High School in 1999, Shea attended the University of Portland for two years, then transferred to the University of Oregon in order to study graphic design. Shea graduated from the UO in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She was immediately hired as a graphic designer by Timeless Media Group (now Shout Factory, Inc.), and spent the next 10 years there designing CD and DVD covers and packages. Shea loved working in this field, and was quickly promoted to Art Director for Shout Factory.

Shea met her soul mate John Belew in 2006 at a Band of Horses concert, and they soon became a committed couple. Shea and John were married on Oct. 4, 2008 in the Queen of Angels Monastery Chapel in Mount Angel. The couple had six wonderful years of married life, enjoying going out for meals and taking trips. Shea was also devoted to her dogs, Dexter and Sailor, and cat, Texas, all of whom she rescued from the shelter.

Shea brought her keen creative eye and design skills to every project she undertook at work and at home. She was amazingly talented and was always willing to contribute her time and design skills to help good causes. She designed countless race T-shirts for the Homer’s Classic, the Oktoberfest Road Race, and many other races and fun runs. Her 2014 Oktoberfest T-shirts for the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce were big sellers at the festival. Shea also did many volunteer projects for the Benedictine Sisters, St. Joseph Shelter, Shalom Prayer Center, Habitat for Humanity and other organizations.

Shea is survived by her loving husband, John Belew; parents, Susan Murray and Steve Ritchie of Silverton; brother Eli (Andrea) of Seattle; sister, Emma Marliave (Dave) of Tangent; sister-in-law, Candace Lazar of Eugene; mother-in-law, Linda Lazar of Eugene; and grandmother, Bernie Murray of Fairfield, Calif. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, John and Hilda Ritchie and Jim Murray, and infant brother, Miles Ritchie.

Among the many bands Shea loved was Wilco. Jeff Tweedy of Wilco once sang, “You’re right about the stars, honey. Each one is a setting sun.” Shea was her familiy’s star, and beloved wife, daughter, sister, friend, whose brilliant light and warmth left this world far too soon. She will be deeply missed by all who love her.

A memorial service was held on Oct. 11, 2014. Those wishing to make a donation in Shea’s memory may send it to Greenhill Humane Society, 88530 Greenhill Rd., Eugene, OR, 97402, or their charity of choice.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.