If you’ve ever found yourself in Blackville SC, odds are you’ve met Mr. Shelton. Riley Thurman Shelton Sr. was a man not easily forgotten. Not only in Blackville, but wherever he went, he could transform anyone’s day by being considerate or even just cracking a joke. He also lived by an unwavering spirit of generosity. He believed everything he received was a blessing that the Lord gave him to give to others. January 15, 2021, we lost a truly selfless man who did more for others than he ever did himself. He loved his family and above all he loved the Lord. Riley Thurman Shelton Sr. will forever be missed, and forever be remembered by those he touched in his life.
Born in Pittsylvania County, VA, he was a son of the late Maury G. Shelton and Florence Hines Shelton and was married to the late Sara Ann Parrott Shelton for 71 years. He was a World War II U. S. Army Veteran who served in Japan. A member of the Blackville First Baptist Church, Mr. Shelton served as a Deacon, a Sunday School teacher, and in various other positions at the church. Mr. Shelton spent the first half of his career in the grocery business, opening the first Bi-Lo in Augusta, Georgia. He then left the corporate world, moved to Blackville, and started his own chain of stores. In 1974, he opened Shelton Food Stores, Inc. and operated the business until his retirement in February of 2017. Mr. Shelton loved people and loved his work, and he was a friend and servant to his community. Upon retirement he worked with his son, Steve, at R&R Auto Sales, and continued to enjoy helping others. His greatest love was his family.
Survivors include his children Riley Thurman (Debbie) Shelton, Jr. of Hartwell, GA, Steve (Lorraine) Shelton of Aiken, SC, and Joy (Mark) Avera of North Charleston, SC; daughter-in-law Debbie Shelton of Simpsonville, SC; grandchildren Heath (Elizabeth) Shelton, Heather Shelton, Holly (Brian) Clements, Scott Shelton, Laci (Chris) Gault, Ashlee (Edward, Jr.) Lemon, Luke Shelton, Parker (Katie) Avera, Shelton Avera, Caroline (Brooks) Swift, Emily Avera, and Sarah Avera; great grandchildren Handley, Hollin, Max, Brody, Gavin, Riley, Deuce, E.B., Lucy, Hendrix, and Knox; his brothers Gordon Shelton, Malcolm (Mary) Shelton, Billy (Emma) Shelton, Bobby Shelton and Larry (Frances) Shelton; sisters-in-law Madeline Shelton and Helen Shelton.
In addition to his loving wife, Sara Ann Shelton, he was preceded in death by his son Ranny Garland Shelton; his brothers David Shelton and Gerald Shelton and his daughter-in-law Terri Shelton.
An outdoor funeral service for Riley T. Shelton, Sr., 92, of Blackville, SC will be held at two o’clock p.m., Monday, January 18, 2021 at the Shelton family home, 429 Main St., Blackville, SC 29817 with military honors accorded. Burial will follow in the Blackville Cemetery. Dr. Thomas Terry and Reverend Ken Frederick will be officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Monday. Memorials may be sent to Hope for the World India, P.O. Box 835, Hartwell, GA 30643, or to the Church of the Resurrection, P.O. Box 73293, North Charleston, SC 29415.
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