LONGVIEW — Bernard Shelan (né Shelansky) passed away Wednesday night, November 21, 2012, at the age of 96, from natural causes. He was born in St. Louis, Mo., to Charles and Rae Shelansky, and raised in South Philadelphia and Roscoe, Texas.
A local football star, Bernie "The Mouse" Shelansky—in spite of his small stature—was awarded a football scholarship to Abilene Christian College, where he graduated in 1938 with a B.S. degree in physical training and set a new kickoff return record that remained in tact for 20 years.
Bernie served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II
and, with his wife, Sylvia, assumed ownership of the family business, Shelansky's Dry Goods, in Roscoe Texas. Bernie was a volunteer firefighter
for 18 years, a member of the Lions Club, a former Shriners president (1966) and a 32nd degree Mason, and a lifelong member of the Elks Club
Bernie and Sylvia retired to Abilene, Texas, in 1979, where they were longtime members of Temple Mizpah, and eventually settled in Longview, Texas, in 1993, where they became active members of Temple Emanu-El. Bernie was admired by friends and family for his strength of character and will.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Rae; and two brothers, Harold and Bobby.
Bernie is survived by his wife of 69 years, Sylvia Shelan; his sons and daughters-in-law, Ronald and Lillian Shelan of Santa Rosa, Calif., Charles and Norma Shelan of Olympia, Wash., and Evan and Debbie Shelan of Longview, Texas; his granddaughters, Naomi Shelan and Rick Dell'Ara of San Francisco, Calif., Lillian and Casey Berman of San Francisco, Calif., Aliza Shelan of San Francisco, Calif., Ashleah Shelan of Los Angeles, Calif., Heather and Tim Cole of Melbourne, Australia, Erin and Wade Skinner of Tyler, Texas, and Stephanie and Doni Katz of Berkeley, Calif.; and his four great-grandchildren, Jonathan, Madeline, Secoya and Jethro.
A graveside service for Bernard Shelan will be 2 p.m. Sunday, November 25, 2012, at Congregation Shearith Israel Cemetery on Dolphin Road in Dallas, Texas, with Rabbi Heidi Coretz officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bernie's name to the Shiner's Hospital, Temple Emanu-El in Longview, Texas, or the