Dr. Richard "Doc" Shelly, 82, of Bonita Springs, Florida, formerly of Elkhart and Bloomington, Indiana, died after a courageous battle with cancer.
Doc was born in Goshen, Indiana, and grew up in Elkhart where he graduated from Elkhart High School in 1953 before enrolling at Indiana University.
He was active in Theta Chi social fraternity and Theta Nu Epsilon honorary fraternity and rode two years in IU's "Little 500".
Doc married Margaret Steele in 1957 and entered the Indiana Air National Guard in 1958 where he served until 1963. In 1962, Doc graduated with a B.A. from Indiana Central College which is now the University of Indianapolis. He was active in the Psi Omega dental fraternity at IU School of Dentistry where he graduated in 1969.
Doc had a general dentistry practice in Bloomington, and became the dentist for the athletic department at IU. Athletics were a large part of Doc's life; he hosted college basketball teams that participated in the Indiana Classics in Bloomington and in the Hoosier Classics in Indianapolis for 20 years, hosted teams participating in the Regionals in 1979 and semi-finals of the 1981 NCAA Basketball Tournament held at IU. He was the dentist for athletics on the US Olympic Team that were training at IU and was the dentist of the 1984 Olympic Basketball Team that won the gold medal and was the dentist of the NCAA track and field National Championships held at Indiana University.
In his retirement, Doc sponsored a senior slow-pitch softball team, "Doc's Boys" that traveled the U.S. and won numerous tournaments, including several World Championships and many gold medals in Utah's Senior Games.
Doc was a lifetime member of the Indiana University Alumni Association and was the past President of Bloomington's Indiana Varsity Club. He was a Member of the Indiana Dental Association and the American Dental Association and was honored by being elected as a fellow into the prestigious American College of Dentists in 1997.
In addition to his love of athletics and dentistry, Doc also enjoyed fly fishing. In his travels, he enjoyed fishing the waters of Russia, British Columbia, Kenya, Mexico, Utah, Vermont and Montana to name a few.
Doc is survived by his wife, Donna; his sons Timothy (Meg) Shelly of Elkhart, Indiana; Thomas (Lamya) Shelly of Sherman Oaks, California, and Michael (Dinaz) Shelly of Chicago, Illinois; grandchildren, Michael, Andrew, Katie, Claire, Selma and Eli; his stepson Dennis Sparks; stepgrandchildren Danielle and Tyler and their children Levi and Anilee; and his two brothers Tom Shelly of Corpus Christie, Texas, and Terry Shelly of Tucson, Arizona.
A celebration of Doc's life will be held at Anchor Christian Church in Bonita Springs, Florida, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials in his name to: Doc Shelly's Senior Softball c/o Howie Glupker, 8137 Greenridge Dr., Jenison, Michigan, 49428.
Published on September 2, 2017