The world lost a giant on Sunday, March 27th when Walter Shelton peacefully left this earth for God’s Kingdom. Walter Shelton was a beloved husband, uncle, brother, cousin, friend, colleague, coach, teammate, and counselor.
Walter was born in Hartford on November 19, 1949 and was the son of the late Arline Benford Jackson and Walter Cee Shelton. Walter and his Mom Arline were two peas in a pod. Walter lived in Plainville where he excelled as an athlete in basketball, baseball and football. At Southern Connecticut College Walter was a star on the football and track and field teams. In 1967 Walter was selected as an All-State Connecticut (Football) and in 2003 was inducted into the Plainville High School Sports Hall of Fame.
After graduating from Southern Walter moved to Southern California where he continued his love of athletics by teaching Physical Education. In 1997 he received the California PE Teacher of the Year award. Walter received his master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in 2001 and went on to a successful career as a Counselor at Etiwanda High School. His passion for guiding and mentoring young people was always a priority in his life.
In 2015 Walter retired and he and his wife, Pat moved back to Connecticut. As a resident at River Highlands, TPC Walter liked to say, “Life is Good…I can golf every day.” Walter took that passion for golf to First Tee – Connecticut where he coached and mentored young people.
When a loved one passes, we sometimes ask ourselves, what is the measure of a life well lived? You can look no further than Walter Shelton because he had it figured out. He made a difference in so many lives. Walter was a man that radiated positivity, kindness, and compassion for others. If you spoke to Walter for five minutes, you’d know he loved his soulmate and wife of 34 years - Pat, his friends and family, mentoring youth, Tiger Woods, golf, the Cowboys and the Lady Huskies! Despite battling a disease that was slowly taking away his physical abilities – he remained so grateful for all his blessings. His final post on social media demonstrated that, “I feel the prayers, support and hope. I am challenged every day, but I don’t quit. I still believe in a power greater than myself. Thank you all for everything.”
The outpouring of tributes from former teammates, colleagues, students, friends, and family are a testament to Walter’s well lived life. He is being remembered for his courage, honesty, ability to give, fortitude, inspiration as a high school counselor, encouragement, words of wisdom, positive influence, nurturing, his laughter, his booming voice, his hugs, his genuineness, his athletic prowess, for changing so many lives for the better, having your back, making others feel appreciated, knowing the right thing to say to someone who needed a pep talk, being authentic, providing a safe space for others and being a super human being.
Walter knew how to make people feel appreciated. He influenced many students who credit him with making a huge impact on their lives by encouraging them to reach for goals they didn’t think possible. His pep talks left students feeling lighter! His colleagues all said it was an honor to work with Walter. One colleague said, “Most of the kids were in awe of him to begin with, then as they got to know him, they loved him. They respected him so much and wanted so much to follow him in doing the ‘right thing.’ What an impact he had on so many kids!!”
We should all take a page out of Walter’s playbook as to how to achieve a life well lived. Walter – you are loved and are missed by everyone who knew you. You crossed the finish line far too soon. We hope you are playing your best round of golf in Heaven. You have left us all with memories that will never fade and shown us the way to live. You made difference to so many.
Relatives and friends may call at Plainville Funeral Home, 81 Broad Street, Plainville on Friday (April 1, 2022) between 5 and 7 PM. A short service will be administered by a Minister at 7 PM, where friends are invited to speak. The service will be live-streamed and can be accessed through Walter's tribute page. A Celebration of Life event will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2022 from 1 PM to 3 PM at First Tee – Connecticut, 55 Golf Club Road in Cromwell, CT. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in Walter’s name be made to First Tee – Connecticut by visiting https://firstteeconnecticut.org/ or mail to 55 Golf Club Road, Cromwell, CT 06416. For more information or to leave online expressions of sympathy, please visit www.PLAINVILLEFUNERALHOME.com.