Sergeant Ryan P. Shelly, 45, of Hannawa Falls

After a courageous battle with cancer, Ryan died Thursday night (August 19, 2021) at Canton-Potsdam Hospital with his loving family by his side. (Source: Funeral Home)

HANNAWA FALLS, New York (WWNY) – A Christian funeral will be held on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 11:00 AM for Sergeant Ryan P. Shelly, 45, a lifelong resident of Crestview Heights in Hannawa Falls, NY. Mary’s Church in Potsdam under the direction of Rev. Joseph Giroux. The consultation will take place on Monday, August 23, 2021 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Garner Funeral Service in Potsdam. Burial will then take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Potsdam. After a courageous battle with cancer, Ryan died Thursday night (August 19, 2021) at Canton-Potsdam Hospital with his loving family by his side.

Ryan is survived by his wife of over 16 years, Joey, sons Ethan and Graham, daughters Nora and Marianna, his parents Patricia Shelly and Peter (Denise) Shelly, a brother Jared (Martina) Baker, of Horseheads, NY, sisters Sarah ( Douglas) Krueger of Tampa, FL and Renée (Jeremy) Summerell of Savannah, GA, Uncles Robert Shelly of Hannawa Falls, and William (Sue) Shelly of Palm Coast, FL, Aunt Phyllis Ondek of Hannawa Falls, Great-uncle Wayne Dennicort of Potsdam, a special cousin Philip Dennicort of Colton, sister-in-law Bridgette (Joel) LaPierre and Clara (Shawn) Cummings, both of Governor, nieces and nephews Melanie, Patrick and Michael Krueger, Mackenzie, Tessa and Ty Baker, Finn and Tradd Summerell, Cassidy, Corinne and Frances LaPierre, Grace, Joseph and Mae Cummings, a mother-in-law Carolyn Pistolesi of Governor, and several cousins.

He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents Harold and Dorothy Clark, paternal grandparents Hildegard and Felix Shelly, aunts and uncles, and his father-in-law Joseph Pistolesi in February 2021.

Ryan was born on May 18, 1976 to Peter and Patricia (Clark) Shelly in Potsdam, NY. He graduated from Potsdam Central School in 1994, where he excelled in football and lacrosse. He continued his education at Norwich University, where he was recruited into football, but eventually played on their lacrosse team. While at Norwich, he was a member of the progressive leadership and service model of the Corps of Cadets, eventually graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 1999.

After graduation, he began his career with the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, where he was very passionate about the job and his colleagues. He married Joey Pistolesi on April 23, 2005 at St. James Church in Gouverneur, NY with Rev. Daniel Chapin officiating.

Sergeant Shelly shared his love of the sport with his four children and the community by coaching lacrosse for Potsdam Youth Lacrosse and as an assistant coach for the ADK Northmen and the Akwesasne Thunder. He also spent much of his free time outdoors hunting, fishing, boating, and hiking in the Adirondacks, passing on his respect and enjoyment of the outdoors to his children who love being in the woods or on the water.

He had a great sense of humor and shared many shenanigans with his childhood, neighborhood and work friends. Sergeant Shelly was devoted to his community at large, neighbors of Crestview Heights, career and family. Ryan was a man of integrity who was generous, loyal, service oriented, honorable, humble and will be missed by the many who knew him.

Commemorative contributions in memory of Sergeant Shelly may be made to the Potsdam Youth Lacrosse Association, 29 Leroy Street; Potsdam, NY 13676 or a college fund for the Shelly children will be established and donations to it may be made to Joey Shelly, PO Box 287, Hannawa Falls, NY 13647 with “college fund” noted in the memo.

Condolences, thoughts, fond memories and prayers can be shared online for the Shelly family at

Copyright 2021 WWNY. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.