Clara Hall Shelton was born on February 25, 1933, to John Hall and Hattie Jackson in Pleasant Garden, N.C., the ninth of ten children. When she entered the world, it was clear she was destined to touch lives in a special way and leave an impact on all who knew her. Mrs. Shelton possessed an interest in life-long learning at an early age and realized that the pursuit of education was a key to success in life. She was a brilliant student and chose to attend Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., where she majored in English. Upon graduation from Bennett in 1955, she began her teaching career at Ryan Training High School and Nelson Memorial High School. It was there where she met fellow teacher, William E. Shelton, the love of her life. They married in December 1956, and from this union, two lovely children were born, Kimberly and Bill. Clara, always with a passion for self-growth and education, later received her Masters Degree in Education at Virginia State University. Her dynamic teaching career spanned 36 years and she was one of the first African American women to teach at the newly integrated Nelson County High School in 1969. Her subjects included Shorthand, Typing and Business. During her career, she shaped so many young lives and her impact on students' lives and careers has been immeasurable. Many of her students have achieved great careers and accomplishment throughout the nation and the world. Clara's love for the Lord was ever present in her life. She accepted Christ at an early age at her home church, St. John Baptist Church in Climax, N.C. However, she was a faithful member of St. Hebron Baptist Church for over 60 years and served in many capacities--Deaconess, Church Secretary, Choir Member, Sunday School Teacher, Missionary Circle, just to name a few. She was an active member and leader of many service and professional organizations including NAACP, VEA, FBLA, Rockfish Baptist Association and AKA Sorority, Inc. What was most special about Clara Shelton (affectionately called Ms. Shelton, Mama C, Mom-me, and Nana) was her genuine and caring spirit. To know her was to love her. She epitomized the human definition of authenticity and was patient, kind, caring and always encouraging. She was a devoted wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, and friend and she loved Kimberly, Bill (Patricia), her grandsons, William, III, Alexander, Joshua, her "2nd daughter" (Dr. Benita Bell), her family and friends with all her heart. She instilled in those with whom she knew what living a life of impact and purpose means. Her inner strength and devotion to family, friends, and community left a mark on all our hearts. She will be deeply missed because of how she lived her life--by the Golden Rule. She leaves behind to cherish her memory her sister, Creasy Walker; sisters-in-love, Marie Bolden and Marie Hall; her children, grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. The life she lived is her legacy. Services were held Friday, February 21, 2020, at 11 a.m. at Saint Hebron Baptist Church in Wingina. Pastor Thomas Rose, Pastor Joseph Jones and Pastor James Rose officiated. Interment followed in Peaceful Garden Memorial Cemetery in Wingina. Arrangements by Wells/Sheffield Funeral Chapel, Lovingston, Va., (434-263-4097).
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