Carroll Gene Shelton, 83 of Grand Saline, Texas, left for his Heavenly home, Friday, November 6, 2020.
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“Gene” was born on September 20th, 1937 in Donna, Texas to Larry Cecil Shelton and Flora Frances Dora Duncan Shelton. Gene was their only son surrounded by an older sister Connie (Lynn Nuckols) and baby sister Bonnie (Gerald Nelson).
Gene is survived by his four daughters Nathalie Johnson and James of Lindale, Texas and their two girls Calli and Clara. Cassie Ohlhausen and Kent of Abilene, Texas, and their daughter, Ashley and Sam Hurley and their children Emerson, Arlo and Iris, and son, Taylor and Cerise Ohlhausen. Tonia Beard and Scott of Trophy Club, Texas and their two children Gentry and Jake. Wendy Holmes and Andy of Abilene, Texas and their son Shelton Holmes and Lauren McDaniel and son Andrew Holmes, and daughter Avy Holmes and David Brown.
Papaw Gene has nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Gene is also survived by his family in Christ as well as the many strangers he met in his life who were instantly his friends.
Gene is also survived by his first wife, Shirley Jane Neal Taylor. Gene and Shirley made a Christian home and a beautiful life to raise their four girls.
Gene grew up in a traveling farming family and moved from place to place. This fed his spirit of adventure and independence. At 19 years old, he took a cardboard box held with a hanger that included all his worldly possessions, and he hitchhiked to Abilene, Texas to attend Abilene Christian College (ACU). Gene earned his Bachelor's degree in English and worked toward his Masters during his seven years there. When Shirley Jane Neal walked into the World Famous Bean one day, Gene said to his buddy, “There is the girl I’m gonna marry.” They were married six weeks later.
As their family began to grow the adventures also began to grow. Nathalie was born in Abilene, then Gene and Shirley moved to Monahans, Texas for Gene to teach school. Then on to Wichita Falls, Texas where Cassie was born, then back to Abilene to welcome Tonia, and on to Tyler, Texas where Wendy joined the family. Gene worked as an Insurance adjuster and finally took the family to DeSoto, Texas where they settled down, and Gene started his own building and remodel business, Shelton Construction Company.
DeSoto was a great place to raise a family, and DeSoto Church of Christ, where Gene was a Deacon, was the base of their Christian family. Gene’s life story was written in the middle of giggling girls and the whirr of a Skilsaw, he was always building something fabulous with his two hands. It was written in the stories told while fishing with his brother-in-law, Jack Johnson and his excitement for the opening of every hunting season. He cherished the time with his children and grandchildren, telling them wild tales from his adventurous life, (ask his girls about Bigfoot and the Pterodactyl) but always offering wisdom in every conversation. Gene was happy, especially if there was pie or homemade chocolate chip cookies and definitely iced tea involved. Gene was a wealth of knowledge, just ask him.
As his children started their own lives Gene moved on to Canton, Texas then back to Abilene. Eventually moving back to the comfort of east Texas for his final years. Dementia took pieces of his mind, but it did not take that twinkle out of his baby blue eyes. Daddy, you will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, please give to the Alzheimer's Association or to a pet or homeless shelter of your choice. Daddy took in stray animals and a few stray people along the way. His love for the Lord was demonstrated in how he cared for everyone that crossed his path.
The family will gather at a future date in celebration of this life well-lived.