Duluth East Senior High School Class of 1965
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John D Shively
April 5, 1947 ~ June 2, 2023
76 Years Old

John David Shively will be remembered always as a caring and committed husband of 50 years to his wife Patricia; a devoted father to his daughter Cristin and son David; a steadfast older brother to siblings Peggy and Tom Shively; and a loving son to his parents, Harold “Bud” Shively and Ruth Oliver, who preceded him in death.

Born in Lafayette, Indiana, John moved seven times in his childhood due to his father’s work in the trade publishing business, finishing high school in Duluth, Minnesota, as a standout swimmer, football player, and active student government leader. Above all was his academic performance, earning him entrance to Harvard University, where he graduated with a degree in economics in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War. Facing a low draft number, the U.S. Marine Corps allowed him to defer military service, continuing his education at Harvard Law School in exchange for four years in the Marines’ Judge Advocate Division.

After completing law school, John met Patricia at a Nebraska wedding of mutual friends—later confiding it was a moment they both knew that they’d found their forever partner. They married during a historic midwestern blizzard on New Year's Eve 1972, weeks before John began USMC basic training. After finishing his service in 1976, John and Patricia settled in Minneapolis, where John landed an associate position at Faegre & Benson. By the early ’80s, after the birth of both children 22 months apart, John advanced to partnership in the Business Litigation group and seized the opportunity to found a new Denver branch of the law firm—relocating in 1984 and moving into a home in Denver’s Southern Hills neighborhood.

For the next 40 years, John realized a dream to cultivate a strong marriage and secure family, raising two children in that same home, providing every creative, educational, and extracurricular opportunity they could imagine. Though John’s work life came second to his wife and his childrens’ well-being, his career ascended as an accomplished trial lawyer specializing in complex corporate litigation and antitrust cases. Under John’s leadership, the two-partner downtown office expanded to more than 100 lawyers working on two floors of a sophisticated multi-specialty practice. As the firm (now known internationally as Faegre Drinker) also grew in top-tier prestige, John stepped into a role he valued most as the Denver office’s managing partner from 1994-2006, hiring new talent while remaining devoted to training and mentoring as an early and outspoken sponsor for women and diverse lawyers.

After his 2012 retirement, John continued in a leadership role on the board of Denver’s Metro Caring food bank, stayed active on the Social Justice Committee of Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, and turned his scholarly ability to synthesize deep amounts of information into a book project that traced the Shively family’s generational, four-century “journey into America” from Oberdorf, Switzerland. But it was his own family’s adventures that kept him most engaged. With out-of-state visits needed to track his children’s outdoor-oriented careers, pursuits, and growing families, John embraced the role of grandfather, planning family vacations as well as a series of international hiking and trekking trips. And though he loved to travel and experience foreign food, history and culture, there were few things he enjoyed as much as local hikes and walking the High Line Canal with Patricia, attending live sports games (especially those of his children and grandchildren), filling out a daily New York Times crossword puzzle, voraciously consuming books and daily news—and always sneaking a little extra dessert treat.

His passion for family visits, intellectual conversation, and outdoor activity made his sudden pancreatic cancer diagnosis in early April a shock to all. He handled a grim twist of fate with patience and grace, finally passing away in home hospice care in the company of his closest family. United in prayer and storytelling, equally elated and devastated, they re-lived vivid stories of his clever wit showing up in parties and toasts, as well as cherished moments of travel and celebration. It was a bittersweet goodbye to send him messages of love and gratitude for all that he created through a humble life of family commitment and sacrifice.

John will be dearly missed and is survived by his wife, Patricia Shively; two children, Cristin (Tom) Zimmer of Lander, WY, and David (Kristin) Shively of San Clemente, CA; his seven grandchildren, Theo, Sophie, Francine and Zoe Zimmer, and River, Pepper and Leila Shively; his sister Peggy (Bob Rietdorf) Shively; brother Tom (Brenda) Shively; Sisters-in-law Brenda McGuire and Sally Simon; Brothers-in-law Clark Hehner, Rob McGuire, Jeff McGuire, Brad McGuire (Marie), Mark McGuire (Kaili); and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

A Reception will follow after the Funeral Mass in the Parish Center of Most Precious Blood Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in John’s name to Metro Caring.

Services

VISITATION
Thursday
June 15, 2023
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Horan & McConaty - Colorado Blvd.
1091 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80246 Directions
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RECITATION OF THE ROSARY
Thursday
June 15, 2023
6:00 PM to 6:25 PM
Horan & McConaty - Colorado Blvd.
1091 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80246 Directions
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FUNERAL MASS
Friday
June 16, 2023
10:30 AM
Most Precious Blood Catholic Church
2200 S Harrison St
Denver, CO 80210 Directions
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RECEPTION
Friday
June 16, 2023
11:30 AM
Most Precious Blood Catholic Church
2200 S Harrison St
Denver, CO 80210
Posted By: Administrator - 06-09-2023
Views: 356





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