James Freeman Shelhorse, 73, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 2, 2017 at his home in Mine Run, Virginia, following a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born in Fredericksburg on December 3, 1943 to John Coleman Shelhorse, Jr. and Mary Sledd Freeman Shelhorse. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Betty Lou Rogers and survived by his loving wife Jane Cromwell Shelhorse, his son James Freeman, Jr., his wife Michelle, son John Joseph Simmons, daughter Mary Sledd McNamee, her husband Jim, their children Avery, Abigail and Jackson who he adored, brother John Coleman III, his wife Bonnie, brother William Sledd, his wife Sally, nieces and nephews who loved and admired Uncle Jimmy, and last but not least his police mount Bailey.
He was always Jimmy to his family and Jim to his many, many friends. He attended James Monroe High School before serving in Vietnam. Returning home to Fredericksburg he worked for Rosner Motors while pursuing his true love law enforcement as a volunteer mounted patrolman. Jim also had a lifelong love for horses having been inspired by his sister. This led to a full time position and long career with the Fredericksburg Police Department serving as Public Information Officer and founding the mounted patrol unit for the city. He and his fellow officers participated in numerous mounted police competitions and were recognized as an awarding winning mounted patrol. Jim served on the Board of Directors of the North American Police Equestrian Championship and was often recognized as policeman of the year by several organizations. He became a Fredericksburg fixture in uniform and on horseback. His outgoing personality and commitment to Fredericksburg brought respect and recognition to the area. He truly never met a stranger and will be sorely missed by all.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to Serenity Farm Equine Sanctuary, www.serenityfarmequinesanctuary.org , 2854 Byrd Mill Road Louisa, Virginia 23093 (540) 842-1756.
Editor’s Note: Jim’s wife Jane is director of the City of Fredericksburg Parks & Recreation Department.