Tragedy Becomes Triumph for Memphis Family

Best Practices, Home Design, Trends

The Shelley family in happier times.

The Shelley family in happier times.
The Shelley family in happier times.

One year ago, Memphis contractor and home renovator John “J.P.” Shelley had planned to pick up his kids and celebrate his son’s seventh birthday with his wife Beverly. Instead, he was robbed, shot and killed by three teenage gang members while working on an estimate at a vacant house.

The suspects were caught, but like so many pieces of the Shelleys’ lives, many questions went unanswered and daily projects were forced aside.

One of those projects—so small at the time—has now become a new joy for the Shelley family, and on national TV. They were selected by the new home makeover show, Fix It and Finish It, starring former soap star Antonio Sabato Jr., to have J.P.’s unfinished deck completed and decorated—all in one day!

A beautiful new deck thanks to some soap star elbow grease.
A beautiful new deck thanks to some soap star elbow grease.

Sabato Jr. and his crew of contractors “travel the country helping families fix and finish their homes, whether it’s a living room, bedroom, dining room, deck or even restoring a beat up Airstream RV, our team is ready to tackle it all!” The Shelleys’ episode airs Friday, November 7–check here for episode listings in your area.

Beverly and the children now have a lovely outdoor space where they can relax and entertain their many family and supporters. And Beverly can use the rest—despite this tragic year, she has become a board member of JIFF Memphis: Juvenile Intervention & Faith-Based Follow-up, a community organization that works with at-risk youths with multiple appearances in juvenile court. (Donate to JIFF here.)

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