Lindi Lee Bortney, 79, of Ripton


RIPTON — Lindi Lee Bortney died May 1 at her home in Ripton after a long illness. She was 79. Linda Lee Bortney was born April 28, 1945, in San Francisco, Calif., the only child of Fred S. Bortney (born Bortnick) and Florence Simon Bortney. She grew up across the bay in Oakland.  She changed her name to Lindi as an adolescent.  Lindi graduated from Oakland High School and the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in theater arts.

After traveling a year in Europe with her friend Nancy, she earned a master’s degree in Music Composition and Theory at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she met Jay Selnick. The two were married in Long Beach, Long Island, N.Y., in 1970. Lindi taught music in Garden City and then in Syosset, N.Y., where in 1974 she founded the Adelettes, a girls’ barbershop chorus. The Adelettes have won many awards over the years, and are still going strong. Lindi’s concert choirs also consistently won top honors.

In 1977 she met Jerome Shedd when they were singing together in a chorus with the Philadelphia Orchestra. They were married in 1985.

She was music director of the Island Hills Chorus on Long Island, and later sang and danced in the front row of the Ramapo Valley Chorus in New Jersey when they became international champions. She appeared on the stage of Carnegie Hall several times, as part of the New York Choral Society and Ramapo Valley Chorus. Lindi was in demand as a conductor and clinician, touching the lives of many students across the United States. She was the first recipient of the Sweet Adelines International Music Educator Award.

After retirement, Lindi and Jerry moved full-time to their home in Ripton. Soon after, Lindi founded Maiden Vermont, a women’s barbershop chorus, and was their director until recently. She also served as music director for several shows produced by Town Hall Theater, Middlebury Community Players, and White River Valley Players.

Lindi was an avid reader, loved folk dance and square dance, and enjoyed potting flowers. Her happy place was in the bow of her canoe, fishing in Vermont waters. Her photographs won blue ribbons. She and Jerry travelled extensively around the world.

She is survived by her husband, Jerome Shedd, cousins in California, and many honorary brothers, sisters and children. She loved many people.

At her request, a memorial square dance will be held at a later date. Contributions in her memory may be made to Addison County Home Health and Hospice PO Box 754 Middlebury, VT 05753.◊


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