Linwood Carl Shelton Jr.
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Portsmouth - Linwood Carl Shelton, Jr., 91, a retired owner/manager associated with Be-Lo Stores in the Tidewater area, passed away May 2nd at his home in Portsmouth following a major stroke.
Known by his friends and family by his initials, L.C., he was born in the Port Norfolk section of Portsmouth in 1921, and was a southern gentleman in the truest sense of the term, treating virtually everyone he met with respect and genuine friendship.
Upon graduating from Wilson High School in 1939, he entered the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech (V.P.I.), graduating in 1943 with a B.A. in Business Administration. In the late summer following graduation, he married the former Margaret L. Brewer, of Portsmouth, beginning a marriage lasting nearly 70 years until his recent death.
At his graduation from Virginia Tech, he entered Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, serving stateside until his deployment to the Philippines in 1945, and subsequently with the occupation forces in Japan. Following the war, he served in the Army Reserves, rising to the rank of Captain before his Honorable Discharge in 1953.
Entering the food business while still in the Reserves, L.C. worked with his father in the family business, Shelton's Grocery on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Port Norfolk, which was later incorporated into the Be-Lo Store chain during the 1950's. Putting in extremely long hours until his retirement in 1993, with his workdays starting before dawn and ending after sundown, he continually strove to maintain the highest level of integrity, while helping to build a friendly business where he knew the names of most of his customers.
Aside from his wide circle of friends being the measure of this man, are such things as his dedication to his wife and family. Here was a man with an incredibly optimistic attitude who never complained or raised his voice in anger and who thoroughly enjoyed the little things in life, pursuing such varied endeavors as attending a regular monthly poker club that lasted 56 years, along with his great passion, fishing throughout the lakes and rivers of his beloved Tidewater with his three grandsons (and occasionally his granddaughter), and his best buddy Capt. Cliff Page.
Complementing his tremendous capacity for enjoying life was his service in civic organizations, decades-long membership on the Board of The Homestead Building & Loan, along with extensive travel throughout Europe and the U.S. with his wife.
While raising two children, he taught them both, along with everyone he knew, many valuable lessons by his quiet example, the final one being that even the ravages of old age cannot diminish the dignity of a good man.
L.C. is survived by his beloved wife, Margaret Brewer Shelton; a son, L. Scott Shelton of Arlington, and his girlfriend Patricia L. Daugherty of Maryland; a daughter, Phyllis Shelton Higginbotham, and her husband James Hunter Higginbotham II (Jay), of Altavista; and grandchildren James Hunter Higginbotham III, Margaret Elizabeth Higginbotham, Edwin Massie Higginbotham, and Sumner Shelton Higginbotham. In addition, L.C. is survived by his younger sister, Peggy Shelton Fore, of Richmond. He was predeceased by his parents, Eva Waters Shelton and Linwood Carl Shelton, and his older sister Evelyn Shelton Van Dyck and her husband James B. Van Dyck, his brother-in-law Harry W. Fore Jr., his niece Donna Van Dyck Moseley, his sister-in-law Phyllis Brewer Gaskin, and his nephew Paul Stephen Gaskin.
The family extends deepest appreciation to devoted caregivers Nancy Hales, Diana Clay, Rebecca Spruill, Genell Ambrose, and Sherry Norton, who treated L.C. with unfailing kindness, love, and respect, enabling him to enjoy his last years in his own home and caring for him with tenderness during the last week of his life. The family also thanks Tony Macklin for his years of dedication to the Sheltons, always offering a smile and a helping hand. The family expresses its thanks to the Bon Secours Hospice which assisted the family during L.C.'s final illness.
A member of Centenary United Methodist Church, L.C. also belonged to the Walter Gardner Coffee Club at Broad Street United Methodist Church, his boyhood church in Port Norfolk.
A service celebrating L.C.'s life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 16th, at Centenary United Methodist Church (3312 Cedar Lane, Portsmouth 23703), with the Reverend Lisa Nordan officiating. Loving Funeral Home, Churchland, is handling arrangements.
The family suggests that memorial contributions may be made in L.C.'s name to Virginia Episcopal School, where all four grandchildren were educated and where L.C. and Margaret celebrated many milestones in the lives of their beloved grandchildren. Gifts may be directed to Virginia Episcopal School, 400 VES Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503, to the attention of Meade King.
Loving Funeral Home
3225 Academy Avenue Portsmouth, VA 23703
Published in The Virginian Pilot on May 7, 2013