Catherine Shelton, a resident of Robertsdale, Alabama, and a legacy in her community, passed away on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at the age of 84.
Mary Catherine Shelton was born to the late Reginald and Mary Metcalf on June 2, 1937 in Opp, AL. She was the second of three children. Her family later moved to Montgomery, AL.
Her first memory of the Gospel being shared was at junior choir practice one day under the direction of Elizabeth Brown. One afternoon when no others showed up for practice, Ms. Brown, a real soul winner, took the opportunity to sit down with her and share the Romans Road. Life’s disappointments are many times God’s divine appointments, and that day the seed of the Gospel was planted in her young heart.
Catherine confessed Christ at the age of 12 just after midnight at a watch night service under the preaching of Johnnie Trobaugh of Forest Avenue Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL. It was through his preaching that she came to see that Christianity was more than just a religious custom of aiming to be a good person through good works, but rather a relationship with the Savior who loved her enough to go to the cross so that her sins could be forgiven. She had a burning desire to serve the Lord, which prompted her to volunteer to teach a four-year-old Sunday School class, Vacation Bible School in the summer, and even at a rescue mission for the needy in Montgomery. By the time she was 15 years of age, God spoke to her heart in an unmistakable way that He wanted her life to be used in full time Christian service.
Her passion was found in Christian service at an early age. Upon graduating from Sidney Lanier High School in May of 1955, she attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL, where the Lord brought a young man, Rusty Shelton, into her life. He’d just come to Christ while also receiving the call on his life to preach the Gospel. Their hearts were joined by their shared desire to serve the Lord full time, and quickly it became clear to both of them that they were meant for each other. He proposed at the end of August, and Catherine married her life partner in ministry, Russell P. Shelton Jr., on December 21, 1957.
Catherine loyally served in numerous capacities beside her late husband, most notably the visionary, academic supervisor and solid rock of the Central Christian School and Bookstore of Robertsdale, AL. A faithful servant of her Lord, she lived a life dedicated to the ministry of God’s Kingdom. Every person that knew her witnessed her unwavering faith and extension of grace from Jesus Christ within her. She led a servant’s life and modeled Christ’s hands and feet to all God brought across her path. It was no surprise to walk in on any given day and find her listening, counseling, organizing acts of mercy, and praying over someone who was in need on that given day. She graciously welcomed people into her home, fed them, and took time for long conversations. Before sending them on their way, she fervently prayed over them. She fed into so many lives and pointed them all to Jesus. For some, she was the closest example of Christ’s unconditional love that had ever touched their lives.
She had a passion for mentoring people with whom she came in constant contact through church, school, and even in her home. She was always ready and willing to lend an ear and to give Godly advice through lessons she’d learned and promises the Holy Spirit sent through His Word. Her influence on the students of Central Christian School was incredible! She touched the lives of an exceptional number of people in Robertsdale, AL and the surrounding areas. When not involved in one of their many ministries, she enjoyed reading a variety of texts, working in the yard with her beloved flowers, and celebrating her family on each of their special days.
Affectionately known as “Mamaw” by all, it would be difficult to remember a time with her grandchildren and great grands when she told them,”I can’t be there” or “I am just too busy.” She did not miss anything, even in some instances when her health had drastically declined! She supported her dear family in numerous ways, prayed over them daily, and unconditionally loved each of them with all of her being. She finished WELL and her dash was spent loving God with all her heart, soul, and mind before taking her heavenly flight home on Thursday, January 6, 2022.
She leaves to cherish her memories: three daughters, Beth (Mark) Mund of Gulf Shores, AL, Vangie (Harry) Bogner of Nashville, TN, and Susanna (Freddie) Stewart of Kennesaw, GA; one son, Tim (Sheila) Shelton of Silverhill, AL; grandchildren, Alicia, Deborah, Mark Jr., Rachel, Timmy, Becky, Hannah, Sierra, and Darius; great-grandchildren, Victory, Londyn Lace, Maisy Pearl, Collins Ryder, Lilliana, and Madelyn; sister, Betty (Brian) Taylor of Mobile, AL; brother-in-law, Phil (Nan) Shelton of Prattville, AL; sister-in law, Gayle Shelton of Destin, FL; 4 nieces, 6 great nieces and 5 great nephews, cousins, and extended family and friends.
A Celebration of Life Service for Catherine will be held Saturday, January 15, 2022, at Central Christian Gymnasium, 17395 State Hwy 104, in Robertsdale, AL 36576, at 2:00 PM. The family will receive friends for a time of visitation prior to the service beginning at 12:30 PM. Graveside will immediately follow at Silverhill Cemetery. (Face masks and sanitizer will be provided) Live Streaming Link of the 2:00 PM service will be posted on Hughes Funeral Home website at www.hughesfh.com for those unable to attend in person.
As Catherine had a great love of flowers, the family welcomes them for her service, however, if you prefer to donate in her memory to the Catherine Shelton Legacy Fund you may do so by sending a personal check to Central Christian School at 17395 State Hwy 104, in Robertsdale, AL 36576, or via electronic payment through a link that will be posted soon.
Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at www.hughesfh.com. Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.