Gary Martin Shelton


Gary Martin Shelton, 75, graduated into the loving arms of his Lord & Savior on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at his home in Dahlgren, IL.

Gary was born on November 17, 1948 in Mt. Vernon, IL but was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico from age 5.  He attended Valley High School, where he excelled at wrestling and was the team captain.  During those years, Gary became a two-time State Champion in the lightweight division, with a perfect record of 35 wins and 0 losses.  This record still has yet to be repeated or broken to this day.  Gary received a full scholarship to Sterling College in Sterling, Colorado.  Afterwards, he decided to move to California.  There, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967.  He rose to the rank of Sergeant SGT/SP5.  He became a crane shovel and gantry crane operator, working on the shipping docks in Qui Nhon, Vietnam.  He served 2 tours in Vietnam for his country, and was honorably discharged on December 4, 1969.  He was awarded a National Defense Medal Expert M-14, along with a Vietnam Service Medal Republic of Vietnam.

On February 7, 1970, Gary married Evelyn (Martines) Shelton, and they had 3 sons:  Timothy James Shelton, Thomas Mark Shelton, and Gary Franklin Shelton.  They moved to Dahlgren, IL in 1976 to raise their sons on family land.

Gary worked for 6 ½ years as a machine operator at the Levi Strauss factory in Albuquerque, NM, 7 years as a Passenger & Light Truck Tire Builder for General Tire (Continental Tire North America) in Mt. Vernon, IL and worked part-time as a mechanic at Mitchell Hopkins Ford Tractors.  Throughout his career, he was known for his hard work, dedication, and passion for helping others.  He was an active member of the Dahlgren Community Chapel Church.  He was also a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and volunteered for DAV fundraisers, and various causes and organizations for his grandchildren.

But more than anything, Gary was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.  He loved spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.  He was always happy to share stories, tell jokes, and lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it.  He was always there to offer guidance, support, and encouragement to everyone who needed it, no matter what challenges they faced in life.  His loving heart for people was amazing in his gentle, quiet spirit.  In his free time, Gary enjoyed working on home projects, his tractor, the land, and his 1957 Chevy.  He liked to tinker in his barn making metal figures, or toy projects for his grandchildren.  He was always eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with others.  He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend to all who knew him and loved him.  He will be deeply missed, and his memory will be cherished by all who knew him.

Gary is survived by his loving wife Evelyn Shelton of Dahlgren, IL; 3 sons: Tim Shelton and Tom Shelton – both of Albuquerque, NM and Gary Shelton (and wife Kelly) of Wayne, IL; 4 grandchildren: Shelby, Sharlotte, Sloan, and Sawyer – all of Wayne, IL; 4 brothers: Jim Shelton and Dennis Shelton – both of Albuquerque, NM; Brad Shelton of Austin, TX; and Rodney Shelton of Seattle, WA; and 2 nephews: Matthew Shelton (and wife Jennie), of Mesa, AZ and Jordan Shelton, of Albuquerque, NM.  Additionally, the Traylors, Harrisons, Templetons, and Toals families were all loved and considered extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents Martin Ellis Shelton & Eleanor Chaves, his grandparents: Frank & Flossie Shelton and Nick & Rebecca Chaves, and his aunts & uncles.

Funeral services for Gary Martin Shelton will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2024 at the Dahlgren Community Chapel Church Fellowship Hall in Dahlgren, IL with Pastor John Hefner officiating.  Visitation will be held on Monday, May 13 from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at 12:00 p.m. at the church.  Interment will follow the funeral service at I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Dahlgren, IL.  Graveside military honors will be provided by the McLeansboro American Legion Post #106 and the Marion, IL Military Funeral Honors Team.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) or to the Dahlgren Community Chapel Church, and will be accepted at the church, or at Gholson Funeral Home of Dahlgren, which is assisting the family with arrangements.

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