Jimmy Douglas Shelton, 85, of Alma passed away Thursday, July 20, 2017, in Fort Smith after an 11-month battle with cancer. He was born March 10, 1932, in Norphlet, Ark., to the late Creighton and Eva Shelton. He was married to Betty Mott on Oct. 21, 1960.
An extremely shy young person, he went on to be quite the talker in later life. Friends have teased that if he’d had his knees replaced in high school, he could have been drafted by the NFL. “He could catch anything but could not run.”
He joined the Air Force on the “buddy system”, but during basic training, he ended up in the hospital with bad knees and was medically discharged. His brother-in-law (“Buddy”) was then sent on “alone” to England.
Doug worked in oil and gas fields all of his life. Roustabout, cable tool, well service and even at MacMillan Refinery. In later years, he was lease operator, foreman, compressor mechanic, supervisor, etc. Doug went to work for Gulf Oil Co. in 1969 and retired from Chevron in 1993. Transferred from Smackover, Ark., to Sulphur, La., back to Smackover, then to Homer, La.,, then Kilgore, Texas, and finally Ozark, Ark. Instead of transferring to Laredo, Texas, he took early retirement and settled in Alma. Every move but the last was a promotion.
After retirement and back surgery, Doug enjoyed working with wood and making gadgets. He was always appreciative of “shop” class in high school. About two years before sickness, he built farm tables and benches, bookcases, coffee tables and even a playhouse for the grandkids. After back surgery recovery, he went back to golf and worked and played for the next 20 years at River Valley Golf in Alma. There he formed many close friendships.
In addition to his parents, Doug was preceded in death by a son, Stephen Shelton, and a sister, Virginia Gandy.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Shelton of the home; a daughter, Sharon Haney and husband Michael of El Dorado, Ark.; a son, Scott Shelton and wife Jennifer of Alma; three sisters, Dean Williams of Milton, Fla., Jean Stringfellow and husband Gene of Hampton, Ark., and Ann Harvison of Clarksville; eight grandchildren, Jessica, Raquel, Jonah, Micah, Noah, Eliana, Erica and Malachi, and three great-grandchildren, Chloe, Barrett and Emerie.
Funeral service will be 4 p.m. Saturday at Northside United Pentecostal Church in Fort Smith, officiated by Reverend Tim Sullivan, under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren. A hometown service will be 2 p.m. Monday at Young’s Funeral Chapel with committal to follow at Smackover Cemetery in Smackover, under the direction of Young’s Funeral Directors of El Dorado.
The family will receive friends at 3 p.m. to the funeral hour Saturday in the sanctuary at Northside United Pentecostal Church, 3700 Kelley Highway, Fort Smith. The family will receive friends at 1 p.m. to the funeral hour Monday at Young’s Funeral Directors, 508 Champagnolle Road, El Dorado.
Memorials contributions may be made in Doug’s name to the Building Fund, Northside Pentecostal Church, P.O. Box 4230, Fort Smith, AR 72914.
To place an online tribute, go to www.edwardsvan-alma.com.