Sylvia R. (Krawitz) Shelan

February 10, 2014

Sylvia R. (Krawitz) Shelan
Sept. 22, 1923 – Feb. 4, 2014
Sylvia Shelan (née Krawitz) passed away on Feb. 4, 2014 in Santa Rosa, CA at the age of 90 from natural causes. She was born in Okmulgee, OK in 1923 to Nathan and Nana Krawitz and raised in Tulsa, OK where she graduated from Central High School. During a brief visit to Houston in 1942, Sylvia met her future husband of 69 years, Bernard Shelan(sky).
The young couple married in 1943 in Houston, TX and in 1948 moved to Roscoe, TX to assume ownership over her father-in-law’s store, Shelansky’s Dry Goods. Sylvia worked with her husband in the store for 31 years, buying and selling merchandise, selecting the next season’s styles, and hemming clothing for generations of customers and friends in their small West Texas town. During their time in Roscoe, they raised three boys: Ronald, Charles and Evan. As a child of the Depression, Sylvia was rarely satisfied with the status quo and always encouraged her family to do better through education and hard work.
Sylvia and Bernie retired to Abilene, TX in 1979, where they were longtime members of Temple Mizpah, and eventually settled in Longview, TX in 1993, where they became active members of Temple Emanu-El.
Sylvia was a dedicated wife and mother. Although she worked hard at their store all day, she still managed to come home and cook a delicious dinner for her family. Taught to cook and bake by her mother, Nana, Sylvia distinguished herself over the years as a creative genius in the kitchen. Retirement gave her more time to pursue her passion: creating delicious pies, strudels, cinnamon rolls, jams and other delicacies from scratch. She is especially remembered for her chicken fried steak, gravy, biscuits, pecan and lemon meringue pies. She began making bagels in the 1950s in rural Texas, long before they become fashionable, and took pleasure in helping out family members with their cooking and baking dilemmas, whether in person or over the phone.
Sylvia was preceded in death by her mother, Nana Wallach Krawitz Boxer; father, Nathan Krawitz; sisters, Ruth Yusen and Idelle Berman; and Sylvia’s beloved husband of 69 years, Bernard.
Sylvia is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Ronald and Lillian Shelan of Santa Rosa, CA, Charles and Norma Shelan of Olympia, WA and Evan and Debbie Shelan of Longview, TX; her granddaughters and grandsons-in-law, Naomi Shelan and Rick Dell’Ara of San Francisco, CA, Lillian and Casey Berman of San Francisco, CA, Aliza Shelan of San Francisco, CA, Ashleah Shelan of San Francisco, CA, Heather and Tim Cole of Olympia, WA, Erin and Wade Skinner of Flint, TX, Stephanie Shelan Katz and Doni Katz of Berkeley, CA; and her five great-grandchildren: Jonathan, Madeline, Secoya, Jethro and Viola.
A graveside service will be held for Sylvia at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2014, at Congregation Shearith Israel Cemetery on Dolphin Road in Dallas, TX with Rabbi Heidi Coretz officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sylvia’s name to Temple Emanu-El in Longview, TX or the charity of your choice.

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