Ela Shacklett

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On October 30, 2020, Ela Shacklett, loving wife, mother of two children and two grandchildren, beloved teacher for visually impaired children, passed away at the age of 85 from Covid.
Ela was born in 1935 in the Netherlands, the youngest of four children. In WWII, when the Dutch queen left the country due to the German invasion in 1940, Ela’s family quickly followed,
riding their bikes to board a boat in the last open harbor. They moved to Curacao, an island in the Dutch West Indies and then to New York a few years later. She grew up in Rye, New York and received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University. In 1957 she married Richard “Dick” Shacklett of Wichita, Kansas and they settled in New Jersey where Ela worked as a school teacher. They had a daughter, Renee, and moved to Wyoming where Dick was the minister in the Episcopal Church. They had a son, David, and shortly thereafter, permanently moved to Kansas City.
Ela dedicated her life to serving others. She was a teacher for more than 30 years for blind and partially sighted pre-schoolers at the CCVI, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, in Kansas City. Even after retirement, Ela continued to volunteer at the school. For many years, Ela was the president of ACLD, the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. She volunteered to help parents, teachers and administrators understand and provide services for
children with learning disabilities. Countless evenings were spent with parents from all over the state who could not get an appropriate education for their child. Ela was an activist and
pushed to pass legislation guaranteeing that all children have the right to an education. Although Ela was recognized for her work, even by the Kansas City Chiefs, her greatest reward
was seeing her students grow up and learn to overcome challenges. Ela was a devoted mother to David and Renee. She encouraged their activities and was always there when they needed help. Special memories included long summer camping trips to national parks in the western states, visits to Dutch relatives and April vacations to Padre Island, Texas. Ela loved her granddaughters’ summer visits, gardening, making crabapple jelly, attending cultural events, and evenings watching whodunits with a cat on her lap. She always
wanted to travel and was able to go to Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. She kept busy, but was never too busy to help out a friend or donate time to those in need. Ela is survived by her husband, Richard Shacklett, her son David, daughter Renee and her husband Terry, and her two granddaughters, Madeleine and Jacqueline. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired: https://ccvi.org/donate-today.