Mary Ellen Shelton

Mrs. Mary Ellen Shelton, 96, of rural Beecher City died at 7:25 am Monday morning April 22, 2019 at the Lutheran Care Center of Altamont, surrounded by her family.

Her funeral was conducted at 11 a.m. Monday, April 29 at the Altamont Christian Church, with Pastor Jim Watts officiating.

Visitation for family and friends was held Sunday April 28 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Altamont Christian Church.

Burial was conducted in Arborcrest Memorial Park in rural Effingham following the funeral services. Kull Funeral Chapel is assisting the family with their funeral arrangements.

Mary Ellen was born on July 27, 1922 in Moccasin Township, Effingham county, the fourth child and third daughter of Cassie Albert and Ellen Mae (Harding) Newburn. She married Eddie Eugene Shelton on Aug. 1, 1939 in Beecher City, and he preceded her in death on May 13, 1993.

Mary Ellen attended Prairie Cottage School through the eighth grade, and at the age of 14 went to care for her grandfather Charles Holman Newburn, grandmother Mary Mahalia (Anspach) Newburn, and great-uncle, Albert Leslie Anspach, all of whose health was declining. She continued to care for them until their deaths in Sept. 1938 and Aug. 1940.

Mary Ellen was a homemaker to her own family, assisted her husband in farming, and helped raise nieces and nephews, great grandchildren and others, even her own brothers and sisters at different times. She also worked outside the home after her children grew to young adults, working at the Altamont Garment Factory, St. Anthony Hospital for two years, Illinois Glove Factory for over 20 years, and Fedders USA for five years. He last employment was for her daughter’s cosmetic business for over ten years as shipping clerk. Mary also took pride in all the quilts she made, especially the ones made for all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mary is survived by her son James (Janet) Shelton of rural Beecher City; daughter Deanna Higgs and daughter-in-law Martha Shelton, both of Altamont; brother Dale (wife, Dianna) Newburn of Newalla, Okla.; sister Doris Julius of Blue Mound; seven grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandsons.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son Gilbert Lane “Butch” Shelton; son-in-law Ronald Higgs; great-granddaughter Delaney Shelton; three brothers, Charles (Leora), Paul (Tiney), and Gerald (Marie) Newburn; four sisters, Virginia (Charles “Dick”) Freeman, Dorothy Branham, Shirley (Harry) Ziegler, and Lula Bell Newburn as an infant; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Norman Finfrock, Virgil Julius, and Della Newburn.

Mary was the oldest member of the Altamont Christian Church and a lifelong Democrat. Memorials may be directed to the Altamont Christian Church Building and Maintenance Fund, Altamont Ministerial Food Bank program, or the Beecher City Meals on Wheels program.


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