Kenneth Austin Shelton (Kenny) was born on November 7, 1934, to Hynson Austin and Madeliene Shelton in a farmhouse near Ropesville, TX. The young family moved to Hobbs in January 1936.
Kenny began his education in 1939 in what was known as North Hobbs Elementary. He graduated Hobbs High School in 1952. He was a three-sport varsity letterman his junior and senior years. He received an academic scholarship to New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell along with four of his high school teammates. While in Roswell he met his first wife, Jean Blake. They went to Eastern New Mexico University in Portales where Kenny walked on and received a football scholarship his junior year. Kenny and Jean married on June 12, 1955. Kenny received a BA degree in education in 1956. He spent his last semester student teaching in Hobbs and began teaching and coaching at Heizer Junior High in the fall of 1956. His first ever coach in eighth grade, Mr. Ray Haynes, was his principal.
In 1958, Kenny began working at Watson Truck & Supply, Inc., eventually becoming President of the company. After the death of his first wife in 1995, Kenny married Jackie Morris on June 1, 1996. Kenny and Jackie had known each other since they were 13 years old. Kenny retired from Watson's in 1998 after 40 years of service. Kenny and Jackie fully enjoyed their 22 years together playing golf, traveling, and spending time with their families.
Kenny was a servant leader in various community, charitable and church roles over his life, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Arthritis Foundation, Palmer Drug Abuse Program, and the Young Marrieds Sunday School program at First Baptist Church.
Kenny enjoyed the best that life has to offer—family, friends, music, dancing, sports (especially golf and football), and of course the Hobbs Eagles. Kenny made friends easily and greatly valued his friendships, many of which were from childhood. He was very intentional about maintaining them. If Kenny was your friend, he was a friend indeed.
Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Jackie Shelton; his children—a daughter, Cindy Svendsen (and Jeff) of Dallas, Texas; a son, Tommy Shelton of Dallas; a sister, Janece (and Don) Cox of Frisco, Texas; 2 granddaughters; 1 grandson; 3 great-grandchildren and one more due on Kenny’s birthday; numerous nephews, nieces and cousins; and Jackie’s children—two sons Michael Robinson (and Phyllis) of LaGrange, Texas; and Allen Robinson (and Carol) of Los Lunas, New Mexico; 2 daughters Cindy Colosanti (and Rick) of Vine Grove, Kentucky, who preceded Kenny in death; and Tracy Thompson (and Robert) of Farmington, New Mexico; 5 granddaughters; 4 grandsons; 7 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great-grandson.
Kenny was preceded in death by his first wife of 40 years, Jean, and his parents, Hynson and Madeliene Shelton.
Kenny was full of joy, zeal, optimism, faith, hope, humor, wisdom, discernment, loyalty, and most importantly love. He lived well and loved well and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him and whose lives he impacted and blessed so richly.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Kenny Shelton Memorial Scholarship Fund at Lea County State Bank of Hobbs.
Sorry for your loss, Tommy. Your Father was a great Man and Husband who raised a great family. I can tell that from your and your Sister's accomplishments. I hope you had a nice time of family renewal at the funeral.
Don BellWichita Falls, TX
Dear Jackie, Janece, Cindy and Tommy, So very sorry for your loss. I have known Kenny since I was in junior high when Janece and I ran around together and Mel worked with him at Watsons. He was a great man and will be missed. You are all in our prayers.
Mel and Marilynn HolbornORANGE BEACH, AL
Tommy I pray your memories of your Dad will make you smile and comfort you.
Joan CurryDallas, TX
Jackie & Family,
We were so sad to hear from Christy, the news of Kenny’s passing. You are in our prayers & hearts! He was just the best & will be miss greatly by all his many friends & family!!
We love you,
Pam & David
David & Pam EllisonGranbury, TX
So sorry for your loss, thoughts and prayers are with you
Ronnie & Wilda WestbrookHobbs, NM
What a legacy of love and family Mr. Shelton leaves behind. My prayers are with you Cindy and Tommy.
Ron KempWaxahachie, TX
Our sympathy goes out to the Shelton Family. God Bless you Tommy and all the others as you morn your Fathers loss and celebrate his life and legacy he left in you all.
Mike and Sharyn
Mike and Sharyn KingAllen, TX
Jackie so sorry for your loss he was a great man and will be missed prayers are with you and family.
Phyllis PierceHobbs, NM
Jackie, we are so sorry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.
JENI & BRETT DRENNANHobbs,, NM
Kenny was a special man and my dad (Oreath Cecil) & I feel so blessed that we were part of his family. We’ll always have happy wonderful memories of him. Love & prayers to Jackie, Cindy, Tommy , Janece & all his family
Cindy Cecil SmithChandler, AZ
Dear Jackie, Greg and I are so very sorry to hear of Kenny's passing. We hold you in our hearts and prayers. I wish I wasn't so far away so I could be with you. Love you always! Vicki
Vicki Archer`Laguna Vista, TX
I am so sorry for your loss. I know your love was a pure love God bless you
suzanne wilson wuesthobbs, NM
Jackie it is with a sad heart I heard this news - may memories sustain you in this difficult time - keeping you in our prayers
RHETHA MINGShobbs, NM
Jackie, we are so sorry for your loss. I worked with Kenny for seventeen years at Watson Truck. He was a good guy, will be missed.
Pat & Bill Johnson
Bill & Pat JohnsonHobbs, NM