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Albert L. Shelton


1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Albert L. Shelton Obituary
June 27, 1920 - March 22, 2016 Albert Lee Shelton, 95, passed peacefully on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at his retirement residence, The Inn on the Boulevard, in Studio City, California. He was born on June 27, 1920, in Colorado to Joshua D. Shelton and Zadie C. (Bay) Shelton, both from Missouri. Al was a cowboy and ranch hand in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. He began his leather carving career at the Poudre River Saddlery in Colorado, and then he moved to California in 1943 to work for Bohlin Saddle Makers. He subsequently left Bohlin and became a subcontractor for Nudie Western Tailors and other saddle shops in southern California. Shelton eventually opened his own shop and throughout his career became well known within the Hollywood community as the "Cowboy Artist to the Stars", creating works in carved leather, bronze, watercolor and oil for Hollywood movie stars and celebrities. Several of his creations are on display at the Autry Museum of the American West. Al wrote over 100 how-to articles in leathercraft magazines, including his series "Tricks of the Trade". In 2004, Shelton was awarded the prestigious Al Stohlman Award for Achievement in Leathercraft, and in 2012 he was honored by the Studio City Neighborhood Council for his contribution to the culture and business community of Studio City. Despite his success, he led a humble life, living in the back of his Ventura Boulevard studio for over 50 years; Al and his cat, welcoming visitors, and always ready to share a story or sing and play a cowboy song. He was well loved, and his charm and genuine character will be missed by many in the community. Al is survived by his daughter Loretta M. Green of Seattle, WA, granddaughter Lisa J. Green of Portland, OR, and great-granddaughter Cassandra L. Kimmel of San Diego, CA. He is also survived by seven nephews and nieces: Larry Gardner, Jerry Gardner, Dan Gardner, Doug Gardner, Judy Johnson, Karen Rodriguez, and Anne Shelton. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Harold, two sisters Leland and Elsie, and his former wife Katherine M. (Ayres) Shelton.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 11 to May 15, 2016
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