Shelby Leigh Goni entered Heaven’s Gates on March 2, 2019 at the young age of 26 years. She fiercely fought an inner battle of depression for many years, which you would not guess by her constant big smile. This battle may have had an upper edge in the last moments of her life, but her family can now rest knowing she is without pain and heartache in Heaven. On April 10, 1992 in Tustin, California, parents Mike and Kimela Goni welcomed little Shelby into the world. Her personality sparkled and her smile gave joy to everyone around her. Shelby wanted to make a mark in the world early on, so she chose the mischievous route, apart from her big sister Kirsten. Always curious and exploring the world, Shelby discovered that creativity was not always appreciated by others (like taking a bath in the toilet.) When little brother Jon came along, she promptly modeled what to do, and what not to do.
The family’s years in Oark, Arkansas were surrounded by family and exploring the outdoors. Their church, Salus Free Holiness Church, prayed alongside the family when Shelby was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 7. They still talk about her miraculous healing as the surgeons couldn’t locate the tumor on the day of surgery, and the follow-up scans were completely clear! Shelby continued to grow as a confident young lady with an in-your-face personality. She could light up any room she entered, and then overflowed the room with her boisterous laugh. But her smile carried her through life – she wasn’t afraid of any challenge and beat many educational and physical barriers in her life.
The family moved to Beaumont California where Shelby graduated high school and went on to complete Dental Assistant training at the Riverside County College. As she entered adulthood, she discovered new things she enjoyed, besides her love of cats and dogs and the color dark purple. Shelby spent her free-time crocheting, attending concerts with friends and exploring new tastes of music. She had a talent for make-up application that would make her eyes sparkle and her smile glow.
The last few years in the Oklahoma City area, she pursued fitness and a road to feeling confident in her healthy living. She loved to create new food dishes in the Moore, OK house she shared with her sister Kirsten, and then critique new dining avenues in the city. Her little niece Abigail and nephew Shiloh were always bright spots in her life, as well as their cat Thor and corgi Cornelius (Corki). The girls she worked with at Sprint will miss her smile and welcoming attitude. Shelby’s family wants her to know she has and always will be loved, no matter the inner struggle she had during her life. Shelby will be missed deeply by all who knew her, and her memory will live on through her family and friends.
Shelby is preceded in death by her grandparents Robert Lee Patrick, Patricia Patrick, and Juan Goni. Those who will anxiously await their heavenly reunion with her include her parents, Juan “Michael” and Kimela S. Goni; sister, Kirsten Goni; brother, Jon Goni and his girlfriend Shyanne; grandmother Alice Faye Goni and step-grandmother Marjorie Patrick; niece Abigail Goni and nephew Shiloh Goni; and numerous Aunts, Uncles, and cousins that love her.
Shelby’s life will be celebrated and honored on Saturday, March 9th at 10 AM at the Salus Free Holiness Church on Highway 21 N, Salus, AR. Visitation will be held Friday night from 5-7 PM at the church. She will be laid to rest next to her Grandpa Juan Goni in the Patterson Springs Cemetery.
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