Donald E. Shely, passed away on October 5, 2020. He was 92 years old.
Mr. Shely was born August 3, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Plymouth High School,
Plymouth, Michigan in 1945. He attended Albion College, Albion, Michigan and completed his B.S.
undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in 1952. He received a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State
University Law School in June, 1955 and was awarded Order of the Coif. He was a founding member of the
Wayne State University Law Review and Articles Editor (1954-1955). He twice served as President of the
Wayne State University Law School Alumni Association and initiated the first giving program in the Law
School’s history. He also was a member of the University’s Anthony Wayne Society.
Mr. Shely joined Dykema, Jones and Wheat, as it was then known, in 1955, immediately upon graduation from
law school. He remained with the Dykema firm his entire career and retired September 1, 1993. He organized
the firm’s litigation department and served as the head of the department for many years. Mr. Shely also served on the firm’s Executive Committee.
He was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the
American Board of Trial Advocates.
Mr. Shely resided in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan for many years. He was a member of the Detroit Club and the
Bloomfield Hills Country Club. Upon his retirement he moved to Harbor Springs, Michigan and lived there in
the summers and in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona during the winters. He was a member of the Desert
Mountain and Gainey Ranch Golf Clubs in Scottsdale, and the Harbor Point Golf Club in Harbor Springs, Michigan.
Mr. Shely is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jean Shely, his children - Elizabeth A. Shely, M.D. in Newport,
Kentucky, John B. Shely Esq. (Kellen) in Houston, Texas, and Robert W. Shely Esq. (Lynda) in Scottsdale,
Arizona, his grandchildren – Katherine Sheldon, Christine Shely, Robert Shely Jr. (Alison), Kimberly Shely,
Allison Shely (Adam), and Jenna Shely, his step-children – Michelle Rittenhouse, Erik Lessien (Christine), and
Gregory Lessien, his step-grandchildren – Ashley Durham (Andrew), Allison Rittenhouse, Anna Rittenhouse,
and Erika Cubilio (Jason), and his step-great grandchildren Grace, George, and Gwyneth. He is predeceased by his former wife, Ann C. Shely.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Little Traverse Conservancy, 3264 Powell Road, Harbor Springs,
MI 49740, the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society, 1300 W. Conway Rd., Harbor Springs, MI 49740, or the
John W. Reed Endowed Scholarship Fund at Wayne State University, 5475 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.
Burial will be private.
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