Henry C. Shelley, a World War II veteran and lifelong educator, died on July 1, 2010 of natural causes. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, the former Jane Marie Welch, of Albany, New York.
Mr. Shelley was born in Fall River in 1923, the son of Joseph E. Shelley and Mary E. Shelley. His two brothers, Joseph E. and William J., both predeceased him. After serving with the Allied Occupation Force in Japan, he completed his studies at Providence College before obtaining his Masters Degree in Education at Boston University. He also studied at Oxford University in England.
He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and taught in England. Upon returning from England, he began his tenure as an employee of the North Andover public school system. He served as a teacher, principal, and acting superintendent of schools.
His love of Martha’s Vineyard began as a young child when he accompanied his parents to the Island. He spent several summers working in Island hotels and restaurants and met his future wife during one of those summers. In 1965, he and his wife bought their home in the Highlands of Oak Bluffs. They have summered at that home since then and after retirement bought a home in Naples, Fla., where they have recently spent winters. Henry’s interests were his family, New England sports, and politics. He was an avid reader.
Besides his wife, Jane, he leaves son Henry C. Shelley Jr. and his wife Elizabeth M. Dean, daughter Mary E. Shelley and her husband Thomas Downs, son Frank W. Shelley and his wife Margaret V. Shelley, son Mark J. Shelley and his wife, Debra A. Shelley. Additionally, Mr. Shelley had eight grandchildren — Jane, Grace, Patrick and Rose of Silver Spring, Maryland; Mary Kate, Ryan and Matthew of Sudbury; and Connor Jude Shelley of Kingston. He also leaves several nieces and nephews.
Henry was a member of the Knights of Columbus, East Chop Beach Club, and served many years as President of the Park Place Club of Naples, Florida.
A funeral Mass was held at Sacred Heart Star of the Sea Church located at Massasoit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, on Tuesday at 11 am. Burial was in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Vineyard Avenue, Oak Bluffs with military honors provided by the Veterans of M.V.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Henry’s name to Good Shepherd Parish, PO Box 1058, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts 02568-1058.
Please visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.