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Michelle “Shelly” Reneé Caplinger

Michelle “Shelly” Reneé Caplinger

Michelle “Shelly” Reneé Caplinger, 56, of Nashville, passed away in the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 8, 2024, after a year-long battle with ovarian cancer. She passed peacefully at the family’s home in Bloomington with her children by her side.

Shelly was born on April 22, 1968, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the daughter of Deveta “Joy” (Boone) Caplinger and Jerry Lee Caplinger. She is survived by her mother of Shelbyville; daughter, Caroline Cherry of Nashville; son, Jason Cherry of Chicago; sister, Erica Caplinger of Indianapolis; and brother, Kevin Caplinger of Shelbyville. She was preceded in death by her father, as well as her former husband and father of her children, James “Jay” Henderson Cherry IV.
Shelly graduated in 1986 from Shelbyville High School. She continued her education and pursued a college basketball career at Penn State University, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Psychology while starting as a shooting guard for the Lady Lions Women’s Basketball Team. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Silver Anniversary Team Hall of Fame in 2011, and her friends and family have long bragged about her three-pointer at the buzzer against top-ranked Virginia in 1991, securing the #1 ranking for the Lady Lions in Shelly’s senior year.

The former CEO of Wellman Furnaces, Inc., Shelly retired in 2021 with over 20 years of service. She also made a business out of her passion for photography as the founder and owner of Cherry Photography. In recent years, Shelly enjoyed her retirement by being outdoors; her green thumb resulted in bountiful home gardens, and she could often be found hiking, camping, and kayaking in Yellowwood State Forest, a camera in her hand and her rescue dog, Piper, by her side.

To have known Shelly is to have stood in the light and love that her singular radiance shone on all she touched. Her strength and selflessness knew no bounds. Her sage words of wisdom never failed to be true. And one could be sure that all of her attributes would be demonstrated alongside quick-witted humor. Shelly’s permeating embodiment of all that is good continues on in those who have the true privilege of calling her a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Her memory lives on as pure, profound love.

Private family services will be held at a later date.