Long active in La Jolla's tennis and social circles, the doubles team of Mary Ann Shelton and John Shelton won dozens of national senior mixed-doubles tennis championships throughout their 35 years together. They played their last competitive senior doubles match in 2003.|
A career physical therapist and life-long tennis enthusiast, Mrs. Shelton died August 2, 2014, in La Jolla at the age of 90.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Hermosa Beach, California, Mrs. Shelton, then known as Mary Ann Morgenstern ("Morgie"), competed at the top levels of regional, national and international tennis events, going head-to-head with the likes of Gertrude "Gussy" Moran, Louise Brough and later, the legendary Maureen Connolly.
After graduating from UCLA in 1941, Mrs. Shelton became a member of the U.S. Federation Cup team that competed in prestigious events around the world.
Mrs. Shelton had two sons, Philip and Carl, and a daughter, Rosemary, from her first marriage, which lasted 22 years, to the late Dr. Richard D. Northcraft, a professor of biology at Amherst College and California Western University (now Point Loma Nazarene University).
In 1972, Mrs. Shelton married the late Dr. John S. Shelton, an accomplished geologist, aerial photographer, and college professor. Dr. Shelton died in 2008 at age 94.
In the early 1970s, Mrs. Shelton served as president of the San Diego Tennis Patrons and was an avid fan of the San Diego Friars pro tennis team. Along with her love of playing and watching tennis, Mrs. Shelton was a devoted fan of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.
After raising her family in Point Loma, Mrs. Shelton resided in La Jolla. She spent her final years at Chateau La Jolla Inn.
She is survived by sons, Philip of Washington State and Carl of La Jolla; daughter, Rosemary of Berkeley; granddaughter, Eleyce of Capetown, South Africa; and grandson, Augustus of Washington State.
Published in La Jolla Light on Aug. 28, 2014