Marjorie M. Shelley

Born: Thu., Aug. 23, 1923
Died: Sun., Apr. 2, 2017


1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Fri., Apr. 07, 2017
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

Memorial Service

3:00 PM Fri., Apr. 07, 2017
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

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Music by The Piano Brothers

 Marjorie M. Shelley

Aug. 23, 1923 - April 2, 2017

SOUTH BEND - Marjorie M. Shelley passed away on April 2, 2017, the same day as her beloved husband Gene three years earlier. She was 93 years old. She is survived by seven children: Ann O'Neill (Brian) of Bloomington, IN, Thomas Shelley (Cindy) of Granger, John Shelley (Wendy) of Plymouth, WI, Mary Shelley of Marstons Mills, MA, Jane Kroll (Larry) of South Bend, William Shelley (Susan) of Tofte, MN, and Kristin Shelley of East Lansing, MI; thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Marge was a loving wife and mother; a fierce advocate for social justice; a democrat; an inspiring teacher; and a good friend. Born on August 23, 1923, she began her life as an only child raised in Fridley, Minnesota. Her loving parents, Harry and Martha Kay, believed in education. At a time when many families did not send their daughters to college, Marge attended the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN, and graduated with a degree in English in 1945. Marge was born and raised a Minnesota woman and remained so her whole life.

She loved literature and was an avid reader. In 1974, while still raising her children, she received her Master's Degree from the University of Notre Dame and began a career teaching English Literature. She taught at Penn High School for over 20 years. After retiring at Penn, she continued teaching English as a Second Language and as a substitute at St. Joseph High School for 15 more years. Teaching was in her blood. She could often be seen walking up Angela Avenue to St. Joe from her home with graceful, determined strides. She gave to her students not just the knowledge of literature but the joy in it. She received many recognitions for her teaching including several fellowships to support advanced study at places such as Tufts University and Stratford on Avon with the Royal Shakespeare Theater.

Her enthusiasm for reading was very real, and she participated in a book club for over two decades, where she discussed more that 230 books with her kindred spirits. Anyone familiar with Marge is well aware of the vital role the book club played in her life. She is deeply missed by her family and friends. The family would like to extend a very heart felt thank you to the nurses and staff of Eight South at Memorial Hospital for their wonderful care.

A memorial service to celebrate Marge's life will be held on Friday, April 7, 2017, at 3:00 PM at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Rd.  The family will receive friends from 1:00 PM until the time of the service.  Cremation will take place at Welsheimer Crematory. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Equal Justice Initiative, 122 Commerce St., Montgomery, AL 36104; or to the local library of your choice. Family and friends may leave email condolences at

Charitable donations may be made in Marjorie's memory to the following organizations:

Equal Justice Initiative
122 Commerce St., Montgomery, AL 36104

Local Library of donors choice.

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Robin Benevich
   Posted Tue April 04, 2017
Marge was a great lady! I am saddened to hear of her death. At St. Joe she was the ideal sub and colleague. You knew your class would be proctored and your instructions carried out when she was there. And the students liked her even though she kept things progressing! Always animated. Spirited. Robin Benevich

E. Jane Doering
   Posted Tue April 04, 2017
Dear friends in the Shelley family,

The notice today of Marge's death brought sadness as well a flood of happy memories of her friendly kindnesses to me from the moment we arrived in South Bend. Marge was one of the first persons to greet me at Little Flower Parish, and from then on we did many things together. We taught catechism classes, wrote letters of protest, and had fun doing whatever was uppermost on our minds.

I admired her solicitous care for Gene over the years he was in Morningside. We most recently got together when she was planning to come to Bernard's 90th birthday party. At the last moment, she had a call from a dear friend who was ill, and she had to leave town.

I will certainly give a contribution to the Equal Justice Initiative in her name. Unfortunately, at the moment, I too am recovering from a fall and may well have been in Memorial on the eighth floor at the same time Marge was, both of us in painful shape.

Because of the long process of rehabilitation I will be unable to attend the services for Marge. Do know that you are in my thoughts, especially on Friday when you celebrate her generous and thoughtful life.

E Jane Doering

Michele White-Schisler
   Posted Tue April 04, 2017
Oh my beloved and favorite teacher. You brought literature to life in your class. I will never forget reading Beowolf in your class with you bringing to life the symbolism throughout the whole book. You inspired me to read stories not because they were something that was assigned to read but something worth reading. Fly with the Angels my friend.

Cheryl ODonnell
   Posted Wed April 05, 2017
You are all in my thoughts and prayers as you celebrate your mom's life
and know that she is now at peace. You too be in peace - she was a tough
bird and her legacy will live on!

Cheryl and Kelly

Kathleen Zaenger
   Posted Wed April 05, 2017
Condolences to Kristin and all of her family. Marjorie must have been someone to treasure.

Kathleen Zaenger

Hilary Trotter (Michelson)
   Posted Thu April 06, 2017
Oh my gosh the reminiscing I have been going over in my head for the last week of Marge and your entire family have been a wonderful thing! Many of my best childhood memories are around Marge and all of you. I am heart broken over your mothers passing but grateful for the memories I have of her. The entire Shelley family has meant more to us then I could ever express in words! Your Grandmother, Gene, Marge, Ann, Tom, John, Bill, Mary, Jane and my always and forever BFF Kristin were a 2nd family to us when we needed it the most and meant more to us than you probably ever realized.......all of you! Your mom was the constant in our young lives and welcomed us into her home with open arms and was a shining light in our life! Even though she had 7 other kids there was always room for us. It was always warm and inviting because of your mom! I wish we could be there with you but my heart, hugs & kisses are! I love you Marge!

Kristen Randall (Michelson)
   Posted Fri April 07, 2017
My heart is sad and full of joy at the same time. I will miss her dearly. She played such an important role, as did the entire Shelley family, during a difficult time in our lives. I will be forever grateful to her.
I was telling someone recently, prior to her fall, that she was the coolest Catholic I have or will ever know! She was an incredible women and she's left me with many happy memories.
I will be with you in spirit and love today and those days to come that will be filled with so many emotions.
With all my love, Kristen

Peter Michelson
   Posted Fri April 07, 2017
Marge, we weren't prepared when that sweet chariot swung low for you, you so much like Gibralter, so above relentless time, so bright, reliable, our North Star always lighting the way--you lit the way so well it's in our memories brilliant still, and there we follow your illumination of...the way of the good, the way of the true, the way of the beautiful....and we thank you for the grace of your time among us...

Kim Carpenter
   Posted Thu April 13, 2017
I work at the German Township Library. I have enjoyed talking with Marge over the years. She was always a delight. I was on vacation last week and was so sad to hear of her passing when I returned to work. She will be missed by all of us at the library. My sincere sympathy to all the family.