Steve Shelton, age 71, passed away on Friday, March 1st after an 11-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was born in Ottumwa, Iowa and raised in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Springfield High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois College and a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois. He taught English at Southeast High School in Springfield and worked at the Illinois State EPA in Springfield. He moved to Richfield, Minnesota and started his business, Shelton Interior Construction, which he owned and managed for 25+ years. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Springfield and Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for many years.
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One of his favorite places to be was his family’s cabin on Ten Mile Lake near Hackensack, MN where he enjoyed sailing, playing cribbage, and sharing stories and jokes with family and friends. He loved the annual “Brothers’ Week” at the cabin, with Phil, Bob, and their “fourth" brother, Blake. According to his brothers, Steve was the “most lovable” and the “second best looking”.
He supported his daughters in all of their endeavors. He enjoyed coaching girls softball for his daughters’ little league teams. Many will remember his fun chants that he would say to cheer on the girls, including, “a little bingo, bango, bongo!” and “rally caps” when his team was behind. He also supported his daughters’ love of dance by performing in the “daddy-daughter” dances at recitals as well as performing in a kickline with the Richfield Tapaire dads. He instilled in his daughters a love of travel, camping, and the outdoors, and dreamed of one day traveling the country in a “Scamp” R.V.
Steve will forever be remembered as having a twinkle in his eye, a great sense of humor, a kind heart towards all, and was exceptionally good at finding a deal. He was a proud subscriber to the Tightwad Gazette, but in true tightwad fashion, he shared a subscription with his cousin. He loved talk radio, especially Car Talk, Garrison Keillor, and WCCO Radio. He was a member of the Giving Voice Chorus with his daughter, Stephanie. Being from Springfield, he was a Civil War buff and especially enjoyed reading about Abraham Lincoln. Another proud accomplishment was being elected president of the student body at Illinois College, much to the chagrin of the university’s president at that time (due to Steve’s pranks and antics).
He used humor to get through life’s difficulties, including making up jokes after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. One was “Do you know what the worst part about having Alzheimer’s is? Yeah, I forget.” After his heart attack, during cardiac rehab, he sang, “You gotta have heart! Miles and miles of heart!” He truly was a brave man. His ability to embrace a terminal diagnosis with dignity and courage should be an inspiration to us all.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Lucile Shelton. Steve leaves behind his loving wife of 42 years, Diane; daughters, Stephanie (Cameron) Tousley, and Sarah (Andrew) Gregory; brothers, Philip (Diane) Shelton and Robert (Deborah) Shelton; many loving nephews, cousins, and friends. He will be missed by all that knew and loved him, especially his family. A special thank you to all of his caregivers from Rakhma Memory Care, Augustana Emerald Crest, and the hospice team who provided care and comfort to the end. A celebration of Steve’s life will be at Gill Brothers Funeral Home, 5801 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis on Friday, June 21st at 11 a.m. Visitation one hour prior and luncheon to follow.
In lieu of flowers memorials preferred to BrightFocus Foundation https://support.brightfocus.org/Default.aspx?tsid=9590&promo_id=1001&_ga=2.159409341.1425078829.1552317950-1267600593.1552317950