The Life Story / Obituary of Cynthia Gail Shelley
Cynthia Gail (Adams) Shelley was born in Dunn, North Carolina on January 12, 1955 to Sallie Cathern (Daughtry) Adams and Arthur Myles Adams, Sr. She is the oldest of their four children. She was predeceased by her oldest brother Dana Mack Daughtry and younger brother Arthur Myles Adams, Jr.
Cynthia Gail was raised in Philadelphia, PA. She received her education through the public school system. She excelled because making her parents proud was always priority for her. After graduating high school with honors from Overbrook High School, she proudly attended (HBCU) Delaware State University. She graduated with a BS in Business Administration in 1977.
After graduation Cynthia Gail moved to Decatur Georgia for a short time before relocating to Anchorage, Alaska. In pursuit of better career opportunities, she obtained employment with the United States Army Corps of Engineers as an accountant. One day while waiting for the bus on her way home from work, she meets a soldier named Lester Shelley from Brooklyn, New York who was stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska. Shortly thereafter they were united in Holy matrimony October 20, 1978.
Upon reassignment the newlyweds relocated to Brooklyn, NY where Cynthia Gail continued her career with the Army Corps of Engineers at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan. Her family grew soon after where she was blessed with her first born Damon Lester on Mother’s Day. After the birth of her second son Jason Vaughn she and her family settled in Somerset, NJ.
Gail was promoted and reassigned to Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, NJ until she found out she was expecting her third child Erin Monique. It was then she decided to no longer work outside the home. Mrs. Shelley’s daycare was established in 1988 and for 30 years, Mrs. Shelley cared for over 300 children right in her own home. She wanted the children to be in a family environment while away from their parents. She would say, “I may not do ABC’S and 123’s but they will know the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” Her love for children and family showed the moment you walked through the door. From her signature hot meals to creative songs and life lessons, Mrs. Shelley has touched generations of children.
The love, care and compassion Mrs. Shelley exuded stemmed from her Christian walk. At a young age she accepted Christ into her life where she later became a member of her home town church 40th St Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia, PA. She later joined First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens where over the years she served with the Deaconesses, Missionaries, Church Nursey, Vacation Bible School, and Spiritual Advisor for the Young Adult Choir.
In more recent years Mrs. Shelley was led to help others in a different way. In addition to her daycare she started working at Center for Great Expectations in 2012 to assist teen age girls. Her love for others showed in all the meals she made for the residents, the gifts she would buy weekly from the Faith in Action bookstore, and her fun-loving ideas and themes for the group home.
Although Cynthia Gail was a daddy’s girl, she shares many of her mother’s ways. She knew her way around the kitchen. From her famous blue cheese wings, potato salad, to her cakes and pies you can always count on a good meal when you stopped by the Shelley home. She loved traveling and spending time with her extended family. She enjoyed working in her yard and marveling over Gods creations. She loved the beach and watching the sunrise. Her pride and joy were her grandchildren. She made each one feel they were the “special one.” She spoke truth in a loving way and instilled many gems by her actions.
July 2018 Cynthia Gail Shelley was diagnosed with Glioblastoma. To know surprise she fought cancer with her faith at the forefront. She always made it a point to pray and speak life to other patients during treatments. She would say If God allowed this to happen to me so I can be a witness to others, I consider this journey an honor. Cynthia Gail Shelley received her Crown January 23, 2019.
Cynthia Gail leaves a legacy of love, strength, and precious memories to: Her husband for 40 years, Reverend Lester Shelley; sons, Damon Lester, Jason Vaughn; daughter, Erin Monique; sisters, Angela Denise Gladden (Thomas), Crystal Faith Walker (Rodney Sr); Father-In-Law, Frank Rock; Brother-In-Law, Cory Rock; Sister-In-Laws, Kimberly Shelley, Michele Daughtry, Belinda Adams and Rhonda Rock; grandchildren, Damoni Shelley, Jayon Shelley, Emmanuel Booker, Damir Shelley, Jahmir Shelley, Jace Shelley, Damon Shelley Jr and Zaire Styles. Her dear uncles, aunts, and a host of cousins, friends and her First Baptist Church family.