‘Truly was God's light:’ Children, friends say goodbye to mother in Arab lost to Covid

Loved ones said Shelana Dorn was the most caring person anyone could have the pleasure of meeting

Posted: Aug 26, 2021 6:22 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2021 8:29 AM

Shelana Dorn of Arab was scheduled to get her second COVID vaccine shot, but she caught the virus before that happened.

She eventually was hospitalized.


Three weeks later, just this past Sunday, she died.

Her family and friends laid her to rest Thursday afternoon.

They shared her story with WAAY 31 to make sure her legacy and impact aren't forgotten.

Everyone WAAY 31 spoke with said Shelana was the most selfless and caring person you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. She was more than just a mom, daughter, sister, and friend. People said she was a beacon of light.

"She means the world to me," said her daughter Serenity Dorn. "She was an amazing mother. She was everything and more that you could ask for."

In 2011, Shelana took in her niece, Serenity, and nephew, Collin, after their mom died from the swine flu and their dad couldn't take care of them because of his heart problems before he passed in 2014.

The two kids were only 3-years-old and 1-month-old when Shelana took custody. She quickly took on the role of being their mom and would do anything and everything for Serenity and Collin.

“She quit her dream job just to move closer so she would be able to see me and my brother every morning and every night, and tuck us into bed and feed us dinner," said Serenity. "She really was an amazing person.”

Shelana raised Serenity and Collin as a single mom for the past 10 years. 

Her older brother, Kennieth Dorn, moved from North Carolina to Arab when Shelana got sick. He focused on taking care of the two kids.

Shelana is the closest thing to superwoman as it can get. She would put everyone's needs before her own, and would do everything with a smile.

“We were best friends. Not many brothers and sisters can say that. We also had each other’s back," her older brother explained.

"From the time that she took custody of the kids, we always knew that we had each other's back. If something happened to one, the other would step in and take care of, you know, try to fill the shoes.”

Shelana is described by friends and family as being one of a kind.

"Truly was God's light," her daughter Serenity said.

“There’s no way I could ever fill those shoes that my sister has laid out in front of me through God, her friends, spiritually, even being the mother that she was. There’s no way I can fill it," Kennieth said.

Her friends and family said Shelana will always live on within them; she's an inspiration to them all.

“It makes me feel blessed to have, to have her as a mom, and truly happy to know that I could maybe be like that one day, that I will be like that one day," Serenity said.

Loved ones said they will make sure they're always doing their best and being their best because that's what Shelana would hope from them.

54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 54°
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
53° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 53°
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 53°
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 53°
WAAY Radar
WAAY Temperatures


Community Events