Dr. Nicolas M. Shelly, 90, of Elkhart, passed away peacefully of natural causes at the Vista Springs Assisted Living Center in Wyoming, Michigan on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 3:25 am. He was born on April 9, 1931 in New York City to the late Peter P. and Lydia P. (Sukhanova) Mikhailoff.
Surviving Dr. Shelly are his daughters, Larissa (Brian) Cassell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lydia (Aaron) Reynolds of Phoenix, Arizona and Emily Shelly of Portland, Oregon; his grandchildren Valerie Cassell, Joshua Cassell, Ella Shelly and Ralph Reynolds, great grandson Tavon Whitfield, Jr. and daughter-in-law Diane Shelly. Preceding Dr. Shelly in death are sons Peter and Andrew Shelly.
In accordance with Dr. Shelly’s wishes, his remains are to be buried in the family plot at the Holy Trinity Eastern Orthodox Monastery Cemetery in Jordanville (near Utica), New York on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm, with Father Victor Lochmatow of the monastery officiating the graveside service, or “Otpevanie”.
Dr. Shelly’s parents moved to the United States in 1927 after fleeing Russia in the wake of the Communist revolution. In 1943, the family made it to Bloomington, Indiana where Nicolas graduated from IU in 1953. He served about 12 years as a Foreign Services Officer with the United States Information Service and held a top secret clearance. He served in areas including France, Portugal, the USSR, Yugoslavia and Pakistan. He also served as an embassy attaché for the Austrian Embassy in Vienna. In 1966 he resigned from government duty and re-applied to IU, this time to the IU School of Dentistry, where he graduated in 1970 and set up practice in Elkhart, Indiana. He practiced dentistry for almost 40 years, then worked in a children’s clinic.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial donations may be given to either Habitat for Humanity, the Elkhart Botanical Gardens, your local dementia support group chapter or to the American Heart Association. Friends and relatives are encouraged to leave condolences and memories of Dr. Shelly by clicking “Tribute Wall” on his obituary page.
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