Norvell Shelley was born on February 23, 1941 in Commerce, Texas to Lola Bell Searcy and Bob White, both who preceded her in death. She had three brothers and one sister, who also preceded her in death. Norvell moved to San Diego in the late 1940’s with her father and stepmother, Ida Mae White, “Ma-Ida”. She was baptized at an early age and she and her family attended Mount Zion Church. Norvell received her formal education through the San Diego Unified School District. She met and married William T. Shelley in the 1960’s. During their union Norvell gave birth to five children. After the birth of their youngest child they separated. In 1967 Norvell was joined with her life long partner, George Lewis, until his passing in 2013.
Norvell was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She was a true reflection of a Proverbs 31 woman; “Strength and honor were Norvell’s clothing; She rejoiced in time to come. Norvell opened her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue was the law of kindness. She watched over the ways of her household, And did not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rose up and called her blessed; her husband also, and he praised her: “Many daughters have done well, but Norvell excelled them all. ”Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman (Norvell) who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Norvell was a woman who loved and feared the Lord. She was a woman after God’s own heart. But not only was she a woman who reverenced the Lord, she was a woman who truly valued and appreciated family, whether you were blood related or not.
On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, the Lord walked into His garden and picked a rose by the name of “Novell Shelley.” Her two children, Anthony and Pamela Shelley, preceded her in death. Although physically she has passed, her legacy continues with three surviving daughters, Denise, Barbara, and Deborah Shelley all of San Diego, CA, thirteen grandchildren, twenty-eight great-grandchildren, and a host of other family members and friends to mourn her homegoing.