As many of you know, John grew up in the Stop Six Community of Fort Worth. Although he later became known as "Big John", when he was a "not so big" kid he often had to run home from school because of a neighborhood bully. It was either run home or give up the dime he had in his pocket. One evening he decided that he was tired and he would stand up to the bully and he would not run. He was prepared for the results whatever they might be. SO...after school, as usual, the bully was waiting on the sidewalk just off the school ground. John put his books down and prepared to fight. With a small group cheering, the fight began and ended better than John thought. He was still standing. Both he and the bully had some bruises, but more than that he earned his own self-respect and the respect of the bully. This incident was typical of John as he met challenges. Throughout his life, he met obstacles head on and used whatever resources were at his disposal. He believed that a good Christian lived his faith; a belief that was reinforced by the teachings of his Grandma Lela and his mother, Gloria. Big John was always available to lend a hand, a dollar, a truck or whatever was needed. He was a man of few words and dry humor. He was humble and felt that since he had been blessed it was his responsibility to share those blessings. John realized that although his time here on earth was fleeting. In God's great scheme, his purpose was to make a difference. John "Meathead" Shelton played basketball for Dunbar High School and went on to become a starter on the University of Texas in Arlington Mavericks basketball team graduating in 1970. Hemarried Maria Jones, a high school classmate in 1968 and to that union two daughters, Jaida and Joneau were born. This marriage extended his family to include Jap, Louise and Merlene Jones. Among the Things on earth he held most dear were his two daughters and four grandchildren. His example words of advice have stood the test of time. Pepaw's influence was pivotal in the early lives of all of them but particularly his grandchildren since he served as their "1st babysitter" after retiring from AT&T. He loved his job and could often be seen with one or more of them tagging along with him. He was an unofficial mentor and role model to several young men whose lives touched the Shelton family. Their acknowledgement of his influence is appreciated. He let them know he was proud of them and to remember above all that at the end of the day, your word is all you have to commend you. We count these men as our "sons". As part of the Southwestern Bell employee group, he was a cofounder of an annual Easter Egg Hunt for which individual and corporate donors contributed supplies and gifts including bicycles for youngsters. This activity began in 1992 and benefited the Butler Housing Community. It has continued until the present and touched many young lives. Later in life, John became interested in photography and nobody was safe from his camera lens. Not the people at the Dixie House Café, or the nursery, or doctor's office or the lake or at the house or just random interesting scenes or people. He loved taking pictures and he would rather be behind the camera than in front of it. Another important part of John's life was his Wildcat family, especially the Class of '65. This class played together, prayed together and stayed together over the years. Many of you probably have "John" stories from the last 50+ years. He would say to you "I be a Wildcat who be you?" and you would know how to respond! We will miss him deeply but know that his soul has traveled to a better place. Rest in peace John, Daddy, Pepaw!
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