The Hon. Melvin Arthur Shortess thumbnail

The Hon. Melvin Arthur Shortess

Died: January 3, 2020

Judge Melvin Arthur Shortess, a longtime resident of Baton Rouge, passed away after a lengthy illness on Friday, January 3, 2020. Born on September 6, 1933, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, he moved to Baton Rouge with his family where his father would be associated with The Lois Shortess Book Store on Third Street. Judge Shortes…read more

Judge Melvin Arthur Shortess, a longtime resident of Baton Rouge, passed away after a lengthy illness on Friday, January 3, 2020. Born on September 6, 1933, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, he moved to Baton Rouge with his family where his father would be associated with The Lois Shortess Book Store on Third Street. Judge Shortess was preceded in death by his parents Melvin Henry Shortess and Helen Taylor Shortess and his brothers Robert Joseph Shortess and Reverend James Andrew Shortess. Judge Shortess is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marna Bass Shortess and his children Amey Shortess Crousillac and husband James Keith Crousillac, Melvin (Vin) Arthur Shortess, Jr. and partner David Mac McCoy, III, and John Bechtold Shortess and wife Paula Floersch Shortess. Also grandchildren Anna Crousillac Crawford and husband Michael Aaron Crawford, Taylor James Crousillac and wife Allison Hood Crousillac, Henry Young Shortess, Anna (Abby) Bechtold Shortess and Eli Patten Shortess, and brother John Richard Shortess and his wife Barbara Shortess, sisters-in-law Mike Shortess and Liz Shortess, and numerous nieces and nephews. Judge Shortess retired from the Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in 2000 as Chief Judge. As Chief Judge, he oversaw the construction of the present Court of Appeal courthouse. He was elected to Baton Rouge City Court in 1966 and later served on the 19th Judicial District Court. In 1990, he was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as justice pro tempore. He attended Sacred Heart Catholic School and was a 1951 graduate of University Laboratory School where he was a varsity cheerleader. Judge Shortess graduated from Louisiana State University in 1955 and the Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1958. He was Chairman of the Law Center’s Moot Court Board. For many years, he was an adjunct professor at the Law Center. Active in many civic organizations he was President of the Istrouma Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 4030, and a Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank board member. In 2001, he founded Thirst for Justice, a Pro Bono Project in association with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Baton Rouge. This organization’s mission statement – “To Provide Hope to Those in Need” – aligns with the values Judge Shortess pursued. He wanted to ensure that all members of the community had access to legal representation. In 2013, the National Legal Services Corporation named him a recipient of its Pro Bono Service Award. Judge Shortess was named 1993 Distinguished Jurist by the Louisiana State Bar Association and was a 2002 LSBA Pro Bono Publico Award recipient. He was also honored by his peers, including being named a 2009 Outstanding Alumnus of University Laboratory School. Always an avid football fan supporting his beloved Tigers and a charter season ticket holder of the New Orleans Saints, he and his family attended games for decades. Family hiking and backpacking trips were dear to his heart and many wonderful trips were enjoyed. An avid runner, he would jog daily 3 to 5 miles. For many years “Team Melvin” ran in the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans and other races. He was a devoted Catholic serving his church and diocese. Judge Shortess attended daily mass at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church and was a Perpetual Adoration Chapel weekly prayer volunteer until his health no longer permitted him to do so. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7. Visitation will be at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church Wednesday, January 8, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with a funeral Mass beginning at 10:30 a.m. Burial to follow at Roselawn Cemetery. Pallbearers are Taylor Crousillac, Henry Shortess, Eli Shortess, Keith Crousillac, Mac McCoy, Michael Crawford and Robert Shortess, Jr. The family wishes to thank the many caregivers and organizations that assisted Judge Shortess through his courageous fight with Alzheimer’s, including the staff at Nursing Care Connections, Hospice of Baton Rouge, and Feliciana Home Health West. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you continue Melvin’s spirit of giving by making a contribution to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Baton Rouge at P.O. Box 127, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or an organization close to your heart.

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Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church

Address:

445 Marquette Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Service Information

Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Time: 10:30 am -

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church

Address:

445 Marquette Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Cemetery Information

Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Roselawn Memorial Park

Address:

4045 North Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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