The Duncan Banner

May 11, 2013

Bill J. Shelton

Feb. 29, 1924 — May 8, 2013


The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Bill J. Shelton was born Feb. 29, 1924, in Perry, and passed away May 8, 2013, in Duncan, at the age of 89.

Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 13, at the Tanglewood Bible Fellowship with interment to follow at 3 p.m. at Enid Memorial Park Cemetery in Enid, officiated by the Rev. Brad McCoy. Arrangements are under direction of Don Grantham Funeral Home.

Bill attended schools at Ione, Ark., and Enid. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1942, and served with the 8th Air Force flying out of England as a Flight Engineer/Gunner in a B-17 “Flying Fortress.”

His plane was shot down on their 25th and last mission on May 8, 1944. He was captured and was a prisoner of war in Germany for one year and one day. He was the recipient of several medals including four Air Medals with Oak Leaf Clusters and three Presidential Citations. After he returned from World War II, he attended Phillips University in Enid.

Bill went to work at Oakwood CC in 1946 in Enid under direction of Perry Maxwell in the construction of the golf course. After it was completed, he served as assistant professional for Bert Wilde, Eddie McElliott and Hack Williford at Oakwood Country Club.

He then accepted a teaching pro position at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club, under the guidance of Harrell Butler. On May 1, 1955, Bill accepted the position of Head Pro at the Elks Golf and Country Club in Duncan, where he was pro for 30 years until his eyesight caused him to retired in 1984.

Bill was very active in the Duncan Youth Council Golf Program with Jess Welch. He felt very proud and fortunate to have taught many young golfers in and around this area that won numerous state championships and many college and professional players. He was honored by having the Bill J. Shelton Junior Golf Tournament initiated in 2012 named after him.

Bill was a member of the Tanglewood Bible Fellowship which he dearly loved, a lifetime member of the Professional Golf Association of America, the South Central Section PGA, a lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion and Ex POW’s and Blinded Veterans Association.

He enjoyed his reunions with his bomber crew that he was shot down with over Germany and was an avid sports fan. He followed with great interest the sports programs and activities of his grandchildren. Bill was inducted into the Duncan Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Bill and Marie A. Vculek were married June 29, 1946, in Enid. She preceded him in death July 25, 2012, after 66 years of marriage.

Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Tanda and Jon Roden, Tulsa; a granddaughter, Victoria and Phillip Noland, Tulsa; a great-grandson, Grant Shelton Gessert, Tulsa; and a sister, Dorothy Traynor, Enid.

He was also preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Margaret Hobbs Shelton; two brothers: Jim and Elmer Shelton; and a sister, Thelma Massenberg.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bill J. Shelton Junior Golf Tournament, c/o Duncan Golf and Tennis Club, Duncan.

Pallbearers will be C.H. Barnes, David Davis, Tom Robertson, Tom Ellis, Joe Moody and Jimmy Grantham.

Online condolences may be made to the family at www.granthamfuneralhomes.com.