by Kirstin Merkley ~ June 4th, 2014
This obituary was submitted by Roberta Sheldon’s family.
Roberta Bille Reeve passed on the morning of June 4, 2014 in the company of her family at her Talkeetna home. Roberta dearly loved the community and people of Talkeetna. Her Celebration of Life will be held at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in Talkeetna on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 4:00pm.
Roberta was born May 14, 1940, to Robert Reeve and Janice “Tilly” Reeve. She was their firstborn daughter, named after her father who founded Reeve Aleutian Airways.
Roberta graduated from Anchorage High School, class of 1958. She attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she made deep and lasting friendships with Alaskans from across the state.
She worked in administration for Reeve Aleutian Airways and then traveled the world in her job as a stewardess for a variety of non-scheduled carriers including Flying Tiger Line.
In 1964 she married Don Sheldon and moved to Talkeetna where they co-owned and operated Talkeetna Air Service. Roberta celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of her arrival in Talkeetna on May 21, 2014.
Roberta was passionate about many environmental and preservation matters. Her drive emanated from a desire to safeguard the character and integrity of those areas she cared for deeply. She was a driving force behind the Talkeetna Historical Society and directly responsible for preserving numerous historical Talkeetna structures. Roberta was exceedingly effective in shaping multiple local and regional land use plans. She faithfully served as the Chair of the Talkeetna Community Council for many years where she established a voice for Talkeetna and a framework from which to enforce community desires. Roberta was also a frequent advisor to countless community and environmental groups that tremendously benefited from her insight, and her organizational and writing skills.
As a historian and writer, Roberta contributed to many publications including Alaska Magazine. She authored many published opinion pieces and letters to the editors of Alaska based news publications. Roberta also wrote The Heritage of Talkeetna and The Mystery of The Cache Creek Murders, two authoritative books on life and historical accounts of the upper Susitna Valley.
She was preceded in death by her husband Donald Sheldon.
Roberta is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Holly and David Lee, daughter and son-in-law Kate Sheldon and Steve Mairose, son Robert Sheldon and daughter-in-law Marne Sheldon, granddaughters Tilly Sheldon Geiger and Reeve Mairose and grandsons Taylor Sheldon, Ryan Sheldon and Cameron Sheldon.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the organization Roberta lovingly created named the Talkeetna Defense Fund, P.O. Box 292, Talkeetna, AK 99676.