Welcome to the memorial page for

Naomi Evadney (Mortenson) Shelnut

May 2, 1935 ~ August 31, 2017 (age 82)
Obituary Image

Naomi Evadny Mortenson Shelnut was born on May 2, 1935 

in New York City and went to join our ancestors

on August 31, 2017 in Sacramento, California.


Present at her bedside during her transition was her beloved 

daughter Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick, son-in-law Ellsworth

Deron Hendrick; grandson Touré Sylvester Deron Hendrick,

whom she adored beyond words; faithful sister Lillian

Mortenson Braxton and niece Brenda Braxton.


Raised in the Bronx, Naomi was the elder sister to Lillian and

Alfred Mortenson. She attended P.S. 54, Prospect Junior High

School, Central Commercial High School (later known as

Norman Thomas High School) and studied for two years at

Herbert H. Lehman College.


While at Prospect JHS, Naomi met Sylvester “Shorty” Shelnut,

whom she married on December 22, 1956. For 35 years, until

his death in 1992, Naomi and Shorty were a strong,

hardworking, and loving couple, and to their union was

born Stacey Louise.


Naomi was known for her diligent work ethic. Her career

began at Metropolitan and Harlem Hospitals and later went

on to City College of New York. In 1978, Naomi was very proud

to be appointed the Administrative Assistant to the Vice

Chancellor for Special Programs of The City University of New 

York. She served in the same role for the Dean for University

Affairs and Educational Development. She was then promoted

to Higher Education Associate for the Vice Chancellor for 

Faculty and Staff Relations, the position from which she

retired  in 1991.


Naomi’s retirement was anything but quiet. She was a volunteer for

Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. (CASA), East Harlem Tutorial

program, The Foundation for AIDS Research, Roundabout Theatre

Company,  YUM Fresh Food program at Isabella’s Senior Citizen

Center, and conducted art workshops all over New York  for Elder

Craftsman, Inc. and the S.T.A.R. Senior Center, where she was a member.


Naomi liked to travel — going on a number of cruises and trips to

Egypt, Japan, Europe (Paris and London), the  Caribbean and

Central America. An avid crafter, she was an active member of

the 3-D Cloth Doll Club,  Quilters of Color Network NYC, Empire

Quilters, and Manhattan Doll Club. She also enjoyed aqua aerobics

with friends and coordinating groups to see the latest Broadway

shows. She attended Fort Washington Collegiate Church, identified

for its commitment to social justice.


Naomi was preceded in death by her husband Sylvester Shelnut;

parents Walter Elias Mortenson of St. Croix, Virgin Islands and Lillian

Horry Mortenson of Charleston, South Carolina; her brother Alfred

Elias Mortenson; and six half-siblings.


In addition to those mentioned above, left to mourn are Naomi’s

half-sister Melba Mortenson Glover and niece  Barbara Taylor Moses;

and grand-nieces and nephews. She will be missed by a host of

wonderful friends, in-laws (The Hendricks, Herndons, and Bradleys),

neighbors, colleagues, and kindred-spirits.


Naomi was a force of life and loved by an ever growing circle

of family and friends who celebrate her humor, style, candor,

loyalty, generosity, determination, compassion, and leadership.

She never backed down, gave up, or let it slide. She lived her life 

“out loud,” and when asked by her daughter if she had any

regrets, her reply was quick, simple and direct—“NOT A THING!”


Naomi’s remains will be laid to rest with her late husband Sylvester “Shorty” Shelnut

at Mount Holiness Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made in her honor to

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

501 St Jude Place

Memphis, TN 38105





 Service Information

Celebration of Life
September 30, 2017

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Fort Washington Collegiate Church
729 W. 181st. St.
New York, NY 10033

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