John Lyman Shetterly
February 24, 1950 - July 16, 2022

John Lyman Shetterly, 72, beloved husband of Melissa (Missy) Hood Shetterly, died July 16, 2022 in Wilmington, NC, from pancreatic cancer. During his illness as well as his life, John drew strength from his unshakable faith and love for God and his Son Jesus, as well as his love for his family and large network of friends.

John was born on Feb. 24, 1950 in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Robert L. and Eleanor L. Shetterly.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1973. John took a year off from his studies at Princeton to work in a street ministry for the homeless in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC. That experience shaped his life and future work of 35 years with two nonprofit organizations, Seed Ministries and New Hope Ministries, that provided food, shelter and dignity to the homeless population of Washington, DC. Missy worked with John at both Seed and New Hope Ministries, providing organizational and administrative support. John’s passion was helping others and enabling them to see and reach their full potential.

John loved adventure, the outdoors, whitewater paddling and kayaking the waters of Masonboro Sound and Wrightsville Beach. He served as a part-time raft guide on the New and Gauley Rivers in West Virginia for a number of years, and introduced Missy, his family, extended family and friends to the thrill, humbling power and majesty of some of the East Coast’s best whitewater paddling. He also loved his annual family paddling trip to the Smokehole Canyon in West Virginia, an event that has continued for 40-plus years.

John and Missy attended Port City Church in Wilmington, NC, and Wrightsville United Methodist Church at Wrightsville Beach, NC. John also was an active member of the Wrightsville United Methodist Thursday Morning Men’s Bible Study Group, and cherished that time with his network of spiritual brothers.

In addition to his wife Missy, John is survived by his mother, Dorothy F. Shetterly, of Hillsboro, VA; daughters, Joy S. Allen and husband Eric, of Wilmington, NC, Naomi R. Polar and husband Aaron, of Wilmington, NC, Judith S. MacIntosh and husband Jason, of Woodbridge, VA, and Joli S. McGovern of Reston, VA and husband Jeremy; sons, Nathanael P. de Poix, of Wilmington, NC, Justin T. Shetterly and wife Lindsay, of Vienna, Va, and Jordan R. Shetterly of Reston, VA; sisters Jane S. Lawrence and husband Richard, of Wilmington, NC, Margaret S. Hisey and husband Clyde, of Keezletown, VA, and Tracy L. Johnson and husband Terry, of Greenville, TN; brother Scott Lesmes and wife Missy, of Chevy Chase, MD; and brothers-inlaw, Russell Hood and wife Maureen, of Rio Linda, CA, and OC Hood and wife Carol, of Franklin, NC. He also is survived by 13 grandchildren whom he adored, Cara, Isabelle and Tristen Allen of Wilmington, NC; Aubrey, Cyrus, Dexter and Sadie Polar, of Wilmington, NC; Harmony and Bree MacIntosh of Woodbridge, VA; Juan and Luis Shetterly of Vienna, VA; and Caleb and Ethan McGovern of Williamsburg, VA; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A private family memorial service on the beach, a fitting location given that John and Missy began their married life with a simple beach ceremony, and Celebration of John’s Life will be held at a later date.

For those who wish, memorial contributions in honor of John may be made to First Fruit Ministries, an outreach and supportive housing program serving the homeless in the Wilmington, NC, area, at

Coastal Cremations 6 Jacksonville St., Wilmington NC 28403


1 Comment

  • Brad Lockerbie Posted July 22, 2022 4:25 pm

    Please accept my condolences. John was a good friend and example of how one should live his life. He was always there to help, comfort, and pray. I will always remember him showing up in his Santa Claus outfit to deliver a Christmas gift my wife had hidden with Missy and him. I am saddened by his passing, but when I remember him, I smile.

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