Class of 1942
Shirley Culver Dell McClellan
Feature Writer for Detroit News and Daily Tribune
Berkley Citizen of the Year, 1978
Active in Historical Societies and Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority
Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2014
Shirley Culver attended school in Royal Oak and graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1942. In high school she worked on the staff of the school newspaper and the yearbook. She was also on the library staff and a member of the Latin Club and the Girl’s Literary Society. Shirley attended Michigan State University, when it was a college. There, she would begin a lifetime of involvement with her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. She eventually transferred to Wayne State where she earned a degree in history and English.
Shirley was married to Charles Dell, and later to John MeLellan. As a mother she began writing articles for the local paper about Girl Scout and Cub Scout activities. She then expanded her writings to include stories about police activities, school events and community government. Her stories were featured in the Detroit News and the Daily Tribune for over 25 years.
In 1976 she published a book on the history of the city Berkley. Her fascination with the bicentennial and local history motivated her to join with others to create the Berkley Historical Committee and establish its local museum. Over the years Mrs. McLellan was frequently found as a docent at the Berkley museum. In 2000, the Royal Oak Historical Society recognized Shirley’s contribution to preserving local history by presenting her with its Sophie V. Bowman Award.
Shirley Culver Dell McLellan was very proud of her Scottish heritage and her community. She was a member of a local church, the Detroit Zoological Society, The Robert Burns Club of Detroit, and the Berkley Days Association. In 1978 she was named Berkley Citizen of the Year and was the Grand Marshall of the Parade. She also served as Grand Marshall in the Royal Oak’s Memorial Day Parade in recognition for her work with veterans.
Shirley McLellan held many leadership positions in the Rebecca Chapter of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and received their Decoration of Chivalry Award for her community service. She also held leadership positions in the local chapter of the Eastern Star and the Royal Oak Women’s Club.