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Raised on Bryant Creek where he attended Vera Cruz school Lawrence Shelton began his earthly walk with his parents Jesse Warner and Floy Etta (Strong) Shelton on Monday, Aug. 2, 1920 at Sweden, Missouri. He started his heavenly walk with God on Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 at Maranatha Village in Springfield, Missouri.
Lawrence was raised on Bryant Creek east of Ava where he attended school at the Vera Cruz school. He would marry his childhood sweetheart Hazel Arvedia (Rippee) on Oct. 1, 1938. This union would be blessed with 12 children.
Lawrence was a sawmill operator and logger by trade. He purchased his first sawmill at the age of 15 which he ran with his father until the 1960s. He would continue to saw lumber until the late 1980s. He was known to bring in logs and saw them into lumber with the help of only one other man. Not only was the sawmill a way to support his family it was also a way for Lawrence to have the lumber needed to build his own home. He also built a barn, chicken house, and several out buildings with the lumber he cut and milled. One of the only times that Lawrence would stop working in the timber or mill would be to deliver lumber to neighboring towns, to work in his oversized garden, or to mow his two-acre yard.
Lawrence had a love for God’s creatures. He raised chickens, cows, and rabbits. He was known to say that animals were a necessity for food and not pets.
Lawrence’s favorite pastime was fishing and hunting. He was known to take off just early enough in the summer months in order to get to the lake where he would fish well past dark. He always came home with fish. His family remembers when those around Lawrence would not be catching any fish but Lawrence’s hook would always be loaded with fish. Lawrence also was good at hunting. Each year during deer season there was always at least one child and their families home for the hunting season. Many of Lawrence’s family members have fond memories of walking with him on his property looking for deer or turkey. He would always say that it was his time to talk to God.
Lawrence found Christ in the late 1970s and since this time was always working for the Lord. After his salvation experience he served as a deacon in his church. He did not like to miss a church service and was known to go to many churches throughout the area for revivals and singings.
As his wife’s health declined he would stay by her side and would be there at any time and for as long as his health allowed. He was blessed with good health, not having been hospitalized until 2007.
Lawrence is preceded in death by his parents, Jesse Warner and Floy Etta; his sister, Hazel Lucille Shelton; and one daughter, Alice Yvonne Ridenour.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Hazel; 11 children, Norma Jewell Heard, Bakersfield, Calif., Juanita Lucille Cline, Springfield, Lovella Kay Tittle, Ava, Joann Davis, Coretta Marie Shelton, Nixa, Doyle Shelton, Billy Shelton, Ava, Zora Roberts, Willard, Delmer Shelton, Big Piney, Wyo., Tammy Hinrichs and Ronnie Shelton, Ava.
Lawrence will also be missed by 36 grandchildren, 69 great-grandchildren, and 43 great-great-grandchildren, as well as countless other family members and friends.
Funeral services were conducted at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29, with the Revs. Buddy Boyd and Lester Platt officiating. Burial followed at the Whites Creek Cemetery. Visitation was held Sunday, Dec. 28, in the Ava Family Funeral Home. All arrangements were under the care and direction of Ava Family Funeral Home.