A Gift of Love – Memorial Unveiling in Honor of Emily Stone Shelby


Pictured from left to right: T.R. Shelby and his railroad friends: Kirk Petty, Gary Meece, Tom Morris, Kelly Legg, T.R. Shelby, John Yeager, and Bruce Drummond in front of Peacock carving at Sheridan Memorial Hospital.

The Sheridan Memorial Hospital (SMH) Foundation was honored to host a memorial unveiling for a Gift of Love on November 17, 2022. This beautiful collection was generously gifted to the hospital by T.R. Shelby in loving memory of his wife, Emily Stone Shelby, who passed away in 2020. The exquisite pieces were acquired by T.R. and Emily from the personal Chinese Furniture collection of Ling Tung.

T.R. and Emily met Ling Tung during their retirement years in Jackson Hole, where their love for classical music led them to the Grand Teton Music Festival, of which Ling was the conductor. This led to a friendship formed with him and his wife, Margo, and eventually the Shelby’s procurement of the exhibition-quality Chinese collection of carved furnishings.

A part of this collection at the hospital is the Wooden Peacock Carving, which was created from a giant tree-root ball and maintains the integrity of the natural root form. With a striking symbolic meaning, the Peacock has been associated with the goddess Guan Yin and, in this sense, represents protection and holiness. Birds are also compelling symbols in Chinese Culture because they can fly with freedom from the Earth, connecting us to the heavens. Birds are thought of as divine messengers to communicate our humble requests to the god above. It is also recorded in Chinese folklore that peacock feathers are welcome because they bring an extra set of eyes for protection.

“This Gift of Love honors Emily’s talents and memories. The Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation is incredibly grateful and honored to have this beautiful carving with such symbolic meaning behind it on exhibit for all to see. We look forward to all of the comforts this exhibit will provide to patients, families, and our community for years to come,” according to Ada Kirven, SMH Foundation Director of Donor Relations.

To get the most up-to-date Foundation information and learn more about gift opportunities, visit sheridanhospital.org/foundation.