Michele “Shelly” LeBert passed away Monday, June 29, 2020, at her home in Winona. It was her 61st birthday. She died unexpectedly but peacefully in her sleep. Shelly was born in New Ulm, Minn., to Elden and Cleo LeBert. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Renee, Margo, and Brenda.
Shelly was co-owner of Home Pet Care of Winona. She never met an animal she didn’t love and they loved her in return. Her passion was caring for all living things, especially when they needed her most. Whether it was a stray cat, unwanted dog or an elderly or sick person, Shelly was there to help. Anyone who had the good fortune to know her was richer in spirit because of it.
Shelly’s interests were diverse. As a young child, she began collecting rocks and continued to do so throughout her life. She found many in her beloved Rocky Mountains and while walking along the river in Winona. Every trip Shelly took was a source of at least one special stone. She seldom missed a Vikings football game and loved keeping track of soap operas on TV. Tie-dyed clothes remained her favorites, and Janis Joplin and John Prine’s music made her happy. She was never fond of large groups, but still found a way to single out animals or people to put them at ease. With her skills as a quick thinker and good manager, she successfully operated and expanded her own business. Sitting around a kitchen table, she worked with others to establish what would become the Winona Area Humane Society. Her ability to give of herself was unsurpassed.
Left to mourn her passing are her life partner, Joni Douglas; brother, Bruce LeBert; and sister, Denise (Duane) Suess. Her nieces and nephews, Melissa and Jason (Sara) Schroeck, Ian (Melissa) and Daisy Bullerman, Jared (Elena) Suess, Jamie (Andrew) Brandess, and Domonic and Destinee Hamilton, lost a special aunt who they loved and cherished. And her grand-nephews, Jerron Schroeck, Micah LeBert, Kai Bullerman, and Conrad Suess, will miss the excitement of a much anticipated visit from Auntie Shelly. Her laugh was the highlight of any family gathering.
Shelly once said, “One of the finest compliments I’ve ever received was that upon my arrival at the Rainbow Bridge, there will be a stampede.” The stampede occurred and it was glorious.
Memorial services in New Ulm and Winona, will be scheduled for a later date. If you wish to make a contribution in Shelly’s memory, please consider an animal rescue organization of your choice.
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