Thomas R Shelton (Tommy), 94, of Tilden, Texas passed away peacefully with immediate family gathered around him at the family home in Mc Mullen County on Saturday night 12, December 2020.
With unwavering dedication as a husband, father, educational professional, artist, and rancher, Tommy embraced his long and fruitful life with devotion to caring and providing for his family and animals. He enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 17 serving at the Pacific battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945, after which he attended Texas A&M where he earned his bachelor's degree. Upon graduation at College Station, he was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Air Force serving Stateside from 1951 to 1953 and was one of Mc Mullen County's last living World War II combat veterans.
Tommy was a fourth-generation Texan and rancher who, with his wife Helen, raised three sons on the Rancho Cruz. Being an energetic talented multifaceted artist, his passion was evident in his works ranging in mediums from simple sketches to detailed life-size sculptures. During his 15 year career as a professional educator, he worked in the Cotulla and Beeville school systems and earned a Master's degree from Texas A&I in 1970. He lived a Christian life and genuinely loved his family, friends, and all the pets and animals under his care. We, his children, know that he is now at peace with his wife in the arms of our Lord. He will be missed; "Via con Dios - My Ol' Dad!".
Tommy is survived by his children Tomas and Darlene Shelton of Adkins, Tx, Bubba and Rissa Shelton of Tilden Tx, and Richard and Lori Shelton of Victoria Tx; grandchildren, Bailey Serrata of Tilden Tx, Libby Shelton of George West Tx, Orion Vasquez of San Antonio Tx, Wyatt Shelton of Pleasanton Tx, Mamie Fritzsching of Magnolia Tx, and Remey Shelton of Victoria Tx.
He is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Graysen and Laikyn Serrata of Tilden Tx, three nephews and two nieces, five grand-nephews, and three grand-nieces.
Tommy was preceded in death by his wife Helen Miles Shelton, his parents Richard (Dick) Shelton, and Elba May (Reino) Skepper Shelton of Tilden Tx.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be a funeral service at this time. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Mc Mullen County Cemetery Association, PO Box 163, Tilden, Tx 78072