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Mabel Eleanor (Cotton) Shellito is a person I love because she was my grandmother; but I want to honor her because she was so honorable. The example she set was that of unfailing patience, good cheer, hard work, decency and open-mindedness. Mabel was born on June 24, 1900, to Norman and Jessie Cotton of Lone Rock, Iowa. Since schooling there went through eighth grade only she took a train every week to Algona and lived with her grandparents in order to receive a high school degree. While in high school she played girls' basketball. Iowa State College was her next destination.
There she was among the first to celebrate the spring celebration which evolved into VEISHEA and was a member of Mortar Board. It was in college she discovered her love and aptitude for mathematics and she earned a degree in home economics. Upon graduation she taught for one year in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and married Harley S. Shellito. They had one daughter Norma. Mabel and Harley lived in Ames for 18 years then moved to Spencer where they owned and managed a sandwich shop and restaurant.
In addition they oversaw two farms inherited from Mabel's parents Upon retirement Mabel took up golf and played at least 100 games a summer into her mid-80's. She was also an avid bridge player. She was an accompished knitter and an enthusiastic baseball fan. She was active in women's groups and church activities. Some personal notes - she made a terrific chocolate cake which we could count on finding every time we visisted and she baked excellent pies. Her mind for numbers was evident by the way she could track a tableful of bridge hands follow farm accounts or calculate mentally the interest payments on low-interest loans made to her grandchildren. Her wit was seen in the gentle friendly banter she regularly held with her husband.
I am pleased to have the name of Mabel (Cotton) Shellito permanently displayed at the college she once attended in the Plaza of Heroines. She is worthy of the honor.