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Beward, 55, met Shelton about 11 years ago when Shelton was volunteering with a nonprofit that helped women reintegrate into society after being released from prison. They quickly became fast friends. Beward even hired Birdie to help with her commercial cleaning business.
One memory Beward said typified Shelton’s caring spirit is of a night they spent together on the roof of Charlie Brown’s restaurant in Speedway. The stunt was a fundraiser to fight homelessness among former inmates.
“We wanted to make sure that women had clothes and help them find jobs, get the services and benefits that they needed, that kind of thing,” said Beward, who stayed in contact with Shelton after moving to Maryland about four years ago.
It was just one of many fundraisers Shelton organized. Another was a 2017 concert and motorcycle ride to help the families of Abby Williams and Libby German, the young girls who went missing in Delphi and were later found dead. Finding their killer was a cause Shelton continued to support on her Facebook page.
Just a month before her death, Shelton organized a celebration of life for a local musician. And when it was over, as was typical, Shelton took to Facebook to thank everyone else who helped with the event.
“We shed a few tears today and a whole lot of laughs. We had so much food we didn’t have room to sit it all out,” she wrote in the Feb. 9, 2020, post. “Danny we all miss you terribly & love you so much but we know you are playing in that Band in Heaven with Dean Kennedy & the rest of your friends pain free & healthy.”
“To know Birdie was to love her. She is definitely a legend in my eyes and throughout the city of Indianapolis,” said Penney Bray, who has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for Shelton’s funeral and other expenses.
Contributed by the Indianapolis Star
Provided Scott Gordon
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