Floral 15

Charlotte (McClave) Shelley

February 22, 1920 ~ May 14, 2020 (age 100)



Charlotte McClave Shelley, 100,died peacefully on May 14. She was born on February 22, 1920 on Cortland Place, Cliffside Park to Bernard Duncan McClave (Cliffside Park), civil engineer, and Simonne Georgette Hubert (Paris, France)

Charlotte was baptized in Trinity Episcopal Church in Cliffside Park, the church her grandparents, Stephen Wood (third Mayor of Cliffside) and Hannah Moore McClave (descendent of Stephen Hopkins a passenger aboard the Mayflower), had provided substantially for its location and construction.

Each summer she and her family vacationed with her many McClave relatives at her grandparents' Connecticut "Farm"— McClaveville. 

As a child Charlotte twice sailed to France to visit her mother's family. 

Charlotte attended School #3 and graduated from Cliffside Park High School in 1938.  She then studied at The Fashion Institute in New York City and also worked in her Aunt and Uncle's Holthousan's Department store, Union City, NJ.

After converting to Catholicism, she and husband Patrick (CPHS Class of 1934) married on May 3, 1941 at Epiphany Church, Cliffside Park; she became a mother for the first time in September 1943, and then saw Patrick leave for the Pacific Theatre in World War II as a "Sea Bee" shortly after that. They raised their family of six children on Grove Avenue in Cliffside Park.

As a parent, she continued her childhood tradition with her own family in McClaveville, dividing the summer and sharing a cottage with her three siblings and mother.

From 1962 – 1984, she and her family summered at Cedar Grove Beach Club, Staten Island.  In 1988, Charlotte and Pat left Cliffside Park and began to split their time between Tequesta, FL and McClaveville living in the "Cabin" that their son Thomas had built in 1976.  Charlotte moved to Monmouth Crossing Assisted Living, Freehold, NJ in 2005.

Charlotte was very proud of her French heritage and when revisiting Paris in 1993 with her daughters was proud to point out her grandmother's apartment at 49 Avenue Victor-Hugo that she had stayed in as a child and relate how she'd attended the opera.  She also proudly hosted her French relatives who came to visit her here.

Each of her children also graduated from Cliffside Park High School except PJ and James who instead worked there as educators, both for 32 years.

Charlotte was predeceased by her son Thomas (1978), her husband Patrick (2001), and her daughter-in-law, Lois Grzywienski Shelley (2013).

She is survived by her son Patrick ("PJ") (fiancée Patti Pindar), her daughter Bernadette Costello (husband Jim), son James (wife Joyce Capone), daughter Margaret "Meg" Reynolds (husband George), and son William "Bill" (fiancée Sandy Wallace).

Charlotte had 13 amazing grandchildren: Dr. Lynn Shelley, Denise (Sharvez Brown), Patrick Shelley (Janice), Shelley Phillips (Christopher), James Costello (Karen ), Kevin Shelley (Jeanette), Erin Scordo (Vincent), Michael Shelley (Kim), Justine Jannucci (Jonathan), Francis Thomas Shelley, Elizabeth Shelley, Lauren McGee (Michael), and Katherine Buchanan (Scott). 

She had 17 remarkable great-grandchildren: Vincent, Joseph, and Timothy Sireci; Brianna Brown; Dylan Shelley; Stuart Phillips; Sean and Kaitlyn Shelley; Tomasso and Amelia Scordo; Sadie and Mabel Shelley; James, Silas, and Audrey Jannucci; and Patrick and Alison McGee.

Charlotte was the eldest of four children: Pauline (Burrows), Bernard, and Jeanne (Foreman) all predeceased her. She is survived by her sister-in-law Elizabeth "Betty" McClave

 Charlotte was able to celebrate her 100thbirthday with all her children. She loved her family whether they were near or far and always reminded them after they visited and got home to be sure to call her by ringing twice and hanging up. Her pastimes included letter writing, gardening, knitting, reading, and saying the rosary. Patience was her virtue. She did a good job.

There will be no memorial services at this time but at a later time when family and friends can gather closely again. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Cliffside Park Public Library, 505 Palisade Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010. or The Susan B Anthony Project 179 Water St. Torrington Ct. 04790




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