Milburn Wade Shelton, 80, son of Milburn Fred Shelton and Jennie (Bates) Shelton, was born April 8, 1933, in Houston, Mo. He passed away Nov. 11, 2013, at Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston, Mo.
Wade was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Viola (Walker) Shelton; and sons, Gregory Wade Shelton and Jimmy Dean Shelton. He is survived by his son, Dewayne and wife, Pennie; his daughter, Brenda Lanning and husband, Todd; two grandchildren, Jennifer and Greg Shelton and wife, Crystal; two great-grandchildren, Lilly and Emily; one sister, Freda Mullins of House Springs, Mo.; four brothers, Dale Shelton and wife, Carolyn of Derby, Kan., James Shelton and wife, Sandy of Houston, Jerry Shelton and wife, Peggy of House Springs and Bob Shelton and Judy of Licking, Mo.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Wade grew up and lived in the Houston area most of his life. While in high school, he worked at Brown’s Chevrolet. Wade bought his first brand new car when he was a high school senior –– a 1950 Chevrolet convertible. In Wade’s words: “It was quite a looker!” He then established his own milk route but was drafted by the military and served two years in the Army during the Korean War.
After returning from the Army, Wade went back to work at Brown’s Chevrolet, where he met his wife-to-be when she came in to have the top of her new car painted. Wade and Viola Mae Walker were married on May 17, 1956, in Holly Springs, Miss. They then moved to Wichita, Kan., for a couple of years before returning to Houston, where they established their lives and raised a family.
Wade worked as an insurance adjuster for MFA Insurance for 12 years and then ran the body shop at Honeycutt Chevrolet for several years. In 1975, Wade bought a farm in Bucyrus, Mo., and expanded into farming and raising beef cattle on the side. Wade established Shelton’s Body Shop in Bucyrus when Dewayne graduated from high school in 1979. Dewayne ran the business on his own until Wade left Honeycutt’s in 1982 to become Dewayne’s business partner.
In the mid-80’s, Wade and Dewayne switched the beef operation to a dairy operation, which they ran successfully for about 15 years, before switching back to beef. In the meantime, Wade had gotten into bulldozing, initially to clear his own land, but this expanded into a major part of their business over the years, especially when they decided to close the body shop. What was initially just bulldozing turned into a substantial land-clearing, pond-building, earth-moving operation when Dewayne got involved. Through it all and to the very end, Wade continued to be a big part of the business.
Wade enjoyed spending time at the lake and looked forward to fishing for crappie off his boat dock at Lake of the Ozarks. He also took pleasure in coaxing the chipmunks to eat sunflower seeds out of his hand on the patio of the lake house and was always ready to help devour a batch of homemade black walnut ice cream!
Wade was proud of his family and enjoyed being a grandfather and great-grandfather, but he loved working side-by-side with Dewayne. His partnership with Dewayne and the many business enterprises they built and grew together over the years were his proudest accomplishments.
Some would say Wade was a man who could do almost anything –– and he could. He had an amazing ability to design, build or repair almost anything. He never complained about anything, never asked for help and never wanted anyone to worry about him. He was truly one-of-a-kind. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him, especially his son, friend and business partner, Dewayne.
Services were 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at Evans Funeral Home with Pastor Paul Murray officiating. Pallbearers were Scott Shelton, Kevin Shelton, Dennis Skaggs, Randy Walker, Rodney Mullins and Johnny Clinton. Burial was in Pine Lawn Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation-Youth Ambassador Program. Online condolences may be made at www.evansfh.com.