Limited Partnership Benefits College
The family of a former music major is establishing a limited partnership, making Cowley a 1 percent owner in the partnership. The family of Captola (Shelhamer) Yust, a 1938 graduate, is naming Cowley in the partnership. When distribution is made, Cowley will receive 1 percent of the proceeds.
Captola Shelhamer graduated from Arkansas City High School in 1936 and enrolled at Arkansas City Junior College. “I knew the university was not an option financially,” she said. “ACJC was a real blessing.” After graduating from the college, she was married in the fall of 1938. Later, she graduated from Southern Illinois University and pursued a teaching career. She retired in El Paso, Texas, in 1979.
Born in Arkansas City, Captola’s ancestors helped develop the Kansas prairie. Her father helped build a large part of Arkansas City, which has always had a special place in her heart. She got her first taste of theatre as a sixth-grader. She played the part of Mother Goose in the operetta by the same name. “It was very exciting to attend school in such an impressive building and performing on stage in what seemed to me a huge auditorium,” she said. “It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience.” Captola’s junior and senior years of high school were filled with many extracurricular activities, including parts in every Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta, competition between cities in voice, glee clubs, and more. As a high school senior, she played the romantic lead in the play “Double Door.” As an ACJC sophomore, she played Yum Yum in the Mikado. “What a thrill it was to perform in the city’s new auditorium-gymnasium,” Captola said. She sang in the community performances of the Messiah during high school and continued that tradition for nearly 30 years in Alton, Ill.
Her choir experiences began in the First Presbyterian Church in Arkansas City as a preschooler and spanned some 75 years in Arkansas City, Alton, Ill., and El Paso, Texas. She also directed the youth choir in Alton and El Paso for many years. In April 2002, Captola and her three children visited Arkansas City. Her children are Greg, a retired dentist; Fay, a business executive; and George, a retired Verizon executive. “We made the long-desired trek there, and I was thrilled to show them the magnificent campus which had grown from those hallowed basement halls,” she said. “It was fun to find my brick in the campus masonry” (on the Patrick J. McAtee Plaza at the east entrance to the Brown Center).
Captola and her late husband Edward, a chemical engineer with Shell Oil Co., had been married 62 years. The couple met at church when he joined her choir. She now serves as pianist for her adult Sunday school class, plays for a nursing home, and teaches piano as a favor. “My beautiful memories of inspired teachers, who gave me thrilling opportunities, have prompted me to enable others to pursue dreams,” Captola said.