More on Rod Shealy, from his sister Sherry

Photo courtesy of Nathan Ballentine...

The former Sherry Shealy has put up a couple of blog posts about her brother Rod, which you can find here and here.

An excerpt:

Rod was a gift to many people. He ran winning campaigns for lots of candidates who probably wouldn’t have won without him…
Two years ago, he had a cancerous brain tumor. He had surgery in August 2008; one hour after the brain surgery, he was on the cell phone doing business as usual. Rod quipped: “I can see the headlines now: ‘Shealy Survives Surgery; Dies of Boredom’.”
That surgery removed the tumor – totally – and he was fine.
At least for a while.
Some time during the summer of 2009, he learned that the cancer was in his lungs.
This year, we learned it was back in his brain.
Rod had maintained a very positive and upbeat attitude. Sometimes he said things like, “The folks at the hospital like me ‘cause everybody else is sick.”
I first ran for office in 1970; he helped me in that campaign and then ran every campaign of mine after that one. He ran my campaign for lieutenant governor in 1990; it’s was my first loss and I believe he took it harder than I did. …
When I asked him several years ago if it was too late to throw my hat in the ring for a particular race, he replied, “Yep. By about 34 years.”
Whether it was politics, family, or anything else, Rod enjoyed life to the fullest. He had a dry wit, a keen sense of humor and a heart of gold. He loved to play the guitar and sing. He loved being creative.
Other than in the hospital bed, I can’t remember the last time I saw him without a bright floral Hawaiian shirt. That was one of his trademarks. In fact, he went to an inaugural ball; like others, he wore a tuxedo – but with the Hawaiian floral print bowtie and cummerbund, along with tennis shoes, I believe.

8 thoughts on “More on Rod Shealy, from his sister Sherry

  1. Lynn T

    I’m not convinced that campaigns should be led by people who regard them as a game, a fun enterprise, as Shealy is said to have done. The results are serious, and sometimes even deadly (for those who don’t get health care, or who are sent to pointless wars). I appreciate the concept of speaking no ill of the dead, but in this case realism requires at least a passing mention of the harm that has been done to our state by people that Shealy enjoyed getting elected.

  2. Doug Ross

    Every political consultant should look in the mirror and say, “Am I doing what I’d be doing if I knew I was dying?”

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    Alas, Doug– I think it was fun for him, and as an antigovernment type, I believe he felt he was doing the right thing.

    but Lynn T is right–it’s not right to play games with our government!

  4. Ralph Hightower

    I worked with a Shealy at NCR E&M-Columbia. But I’ve worked with a number of people at NCR and the names fade away.

    I had to wait for the obit to appear in The State to see who his brothers were.

    I recognized Shawn’s name as the former coworker at NCR in West Columbia.

    I enjoyed reading Rod’s newspaper, Lake Murray News.

    For a musical tribute: Dire Straits – So far away:

  5. Pat

    @ Doug, re: Every political consultant should look in the mirror and say, “Am I doing what I’d be doing if I knew I was dying?”

    I totally agree.

  6. Ralph Hightower

    I didn’t know that Rod was the political consultant for Dr. Oscar Lovelace primary campaign.

    I just knew that after the June primary, after three years of SC Guv’not Mark Sanford, that South Carolina would have a more effective governor.

    Sadly, I was wrong.

    I like Dr. Lovelace’s idea of “Servant Leadership” as opposed to Guv’not Sanford’s “Big Bad Daddy” style of governing (“I know what’s right and you’re gonna do it because I said so!”)

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