Shelley Orlando Spicer, Jr. of Seaford died March 17, 2023, at his home in Middleford. He was the son of Shelley Orlando and Maud Wright Spicer.

Shelley’s life personified the American Dream. Like many Depression-era families, life was hard, and Shelley worked to help support the family as a teenager delivering groceries from his bicycle. He graduated from Seaford High School in 1945, where he played many sports and met his future wife, Mary Louise Hastings. On his 18th birthday he enlisted in the Navy and served on the USS McCook in California. At the end of World War II, he returned to Seaford and married his high school sweetheart in August 1947.

Shelley worked a variety of jobs within Seaford but settled into his career in 1951 at Peninsula Plumbing Supply (now Penco). In 1964, he moved with his family into the home that he and Mary Lou built, overlooking the Nanticoke River, in Middleford. He enjoyed fishing from his backyard, hosting weekend-long pig roasts by the river, weekends at Rehoboth Beach, and traveling to visit family and to see the sights. With Mary Lou and friends, he took two driving trips across the USA and enjoyed all the scenery that his great country offered! In 1991 he retired from Penco and reveled in his new-found free time. He had a gregarious nature and insatiable curiosity. He loved meeting new people, researching local history, and investigating a variety of all things mechanical.

It was after his retirement that he returned to a boyhood delight – trains! Shelley became an avid train enthusiast and collector. His love of trains melded perfectly with his passion for local history. He became a valuable resource for the Seaford Museum, where he was a frequent volunteer. From his collection, he worked with others to develop the popular Christmas train display each year. This endeavor brought him a great sense of pride and much joy.

In addition to his parents, Shelley was preceded in death by his infant twin sons, John and William Spicer; his grandson Ted Schwartz; and his siblings Inez Morgan, Jennings Spicer, Arnold Spicer, and Maynard Spicer. He is survived by his wife, Mary Louise (Hastings); his daughters, Linda Louise Spicer, Judy Ann (Stephen) Schwartz and Carol Shelley (Douglas) Nair; his granddaughter Ali (Adam) Caldwell, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 4 at 2 p.m. at Watson-Yates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 609 East King Street, Seaford, where friends may visit beginning at 1 p.m.

The family would like to thank Shelley’s private caregivers and staff of Delaware Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Seaford Historical Society, 203 High Street, Seaford, DE 19973 (

Please visit Shelley’s Life Memorial webpage and sign his virtual guestbook at