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St Ann's Home
2161 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
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Life Story / Obituary
Grace Shelton’s generous personality touched the hearts of many. Blessed with an abundant and loving family, she relished her role as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Her wonderful collection of memories will be fondly remembered and cherished by her many special friends and family forevermore.
Born on February 1, 1928, in Tupper Lake, New York to Harold and Mildred (Davidson) Bellows, her birth brought great hope and promise to her parents during an exciting time in our nation’s history. The 1920s saw large-scale industrial growth and significant changes in our nation’s culture. Grace arrived at the height of the Roaring Twenties yet never forgot the impact of the Great Depression during her growing up years. Those who lived during this period of time gained the strength to see them through the most challenging economic times.
Growing up in the Adirondack Mountains, Grace and her siblings lived a typical childhood. Only eleven months between her and her sister, Mary Ann, the two of them remained very close during these years. Mostly the four of them enjoyed the winter activities of ice skating and snow skiing and spending time with one another. Her father, Harold, managed a local hardware store yet when her parents divorced during her high school years, her mother moved Grace and her siblings to the Grand Rapids area to accept work as a seamstress for Blodgett Hospital. Raised with a steadfast faith helped to pull them through these difficult times together. Grace was an exceptional student and excelled at music, singing, and playing the trombone in school. Music became her favorite pastime and the skill she leaned on during life’s challenges. She eventually graduated from Grand Rapids Ottawa High School and entered into the world of work.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the man of her dreams, Dan Shelton who was a regular member at the Wealthy Street Baptist Church where they both attended. Dan was just the type of man that would attract Grace. He was driven, hard-working, and also a man of faith. He worked as a sprinkler fitter for Phoenix Co. contracting fire water sprinklers in local buildings. Knowing in their hearts that they were made for one another, they joined in marriage on November 14, 1947 at the church where their relationship began. With little means, they held a beautiful ceremony where Grace wore a gown that was handmade by her mother. The happy couple also honeymooned to the beautiful Niagara Falls.
They settled down into their first home at Plainfield Avenue and 4 Mile Road before later building their home on Westview Drive. She and Dan raised six wonderful children; Don, Diane, David, Deb, Denise, and Doug. To help support the household income, Grace worked at Wurzburg's Department Store and later worked nights as a quality inspector for North American Hardware. Working outside the home put a strain on her ability to attend to their every need, yet it also modeled for her children the values of being self-sufficient and pitching in at a young age around the family home. She was a very encouraging and supportive mother who wanted nothing less than the very best for each and every one of them. As a family, they enjoyed taking trips together to New York, Ohio, and Tennessee. Mostly they pulled their trailer to camp in various parks where they enjoyed spending time together. In addition to these special trips, they also enjoyed many stops at Brower Park near Stanwood to go boating.
When the children were grown and out of the home, Grace and Dan spent many years traveling together. During their retirement they savored their trips to New York, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. However, their very favorite times were always when they were surrounded by the family they so loved. Each and every grandchild was welcomed as their family grew in numbers. They both enjoyed helping out with childcare or spending special time with their families helping to support them in any way they could.
A woman of simple pleasures, Grace loved to relax to her Big Band music especially, the Glen Miller Orchestra. A woman of faith, she and Dan were active members at Wealthy Street Baptist Church and later Standale Baptist Church. They never wavered from their weekly commitment to worship and were always willing to help out with many special events or church-sponsored activities over the years. Well into her later years, Grace never looked back on her life with regret. She lived her life to the fullest by accepting others, doting on her family, and sharing abundantly with all those in need. May her legacy of being compassionate and kind, live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
Loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend Grace L. Shelton of Grand Rapids Michigan, passed away October 17, 2019. Grace was born February 1, 1928, in Tupper Lake, NY to the late Harold and Mildred (Davidson) Bellows. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Dan Shelton; son Douglas Shelton; and siblings, Harold Bellows and Mary Ann Norman. Grace is survived by her children, Don (Lynn) Shelton of Comstock Park, Diane (Christy) Shelton of Grand Rapids, David (Kim) Shelton of Grand Rapids, Deb Shelton of Walker, Denise (Robert) Donley of Grand Rapids; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; and brother, Richard (Helen) Bellows of East Grand Rapids. A funeral service will be held Monday, October 21, 2019, at 11 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends may visit with family beginning at 10 AM. Entombment will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made to St. Ann's Home. Please visit Grace's personal web page to leave a memory or condolence at www.heritagelifestory.com.