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Final Resting Place

Thomas Memorial Cemetery

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Graveside Service

Thomas Memorial Cemetery
Friday May 25th, 2018

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Rita Mae Shelton

Rita Cabe Shelton, of the Qualla Community, passed suddenly from this life on Wednesday, May 16.

Rita was born on Tatham’s Creek, in Sylva, North Carolina on November 29, 1923, Thanksgiving Day, to Mamie McCoy and Frank A. Cabe.

She graduated from Webster High School in 1941 and then joined the Signal Corp in World War II.  After the war, she moved back home and began work at the Agricultural, Stabilization and Conservation Service, in Sylva, where she worked as a Program Assistant until 1985, when she retired.

She was a member of the Whittier United Methodist Church where she served as treasurer for many years. She was also active in the United Methodist Women, sang in the choir, and did whatever was required to help keep a small church going.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, William Rogers Shelton, Sr. of the Qualla Community. A daughter, Drucilla Shelton Russell (Barry) of Whittier; a son, William Rogers Shelton, Jr. (Sabrina) of Whittier; five grandchildren, Susan Tamera Laney (Chad), William Rogers Shelton III, Samuel Crawford Shelton, Morton Calloway Shelton, and Thomas Cabe Shelton. She also had one great grandchild, Emily Laney. She is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Gladys Cabe and Betty Jean Cabe, both of Sylva.  She also had numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

She is preceded in death by her daughter Diane Filiak Crisp; four brothers, Waye, Eugene, JC and Kenneth Cabe; and two sisters, Ruby Cabe Deitz and Ruth Cabe Williams.

A graveside memorial service will be held Friday, May 25 at 11 AM at Thomas Memorial Cemetery. The Reverend David Baxter will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Whittier United Methodist Church or to the Wesleyanna United Methodist Church cemetery fund.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita Shelton, please visit our flower store.


I interviewed Rita a year or so ago for the Mountain People Mountain Lives project, and my grandpa, Virgil Holland, knew Mr. and Mrs. Shelton from their farm, where he often got his corn seed and strawberries. Im so thankful that I was able to interview Rita. She was such a bright and funny soul, and her stories were an absolute delight to hear. Im so incredibly sorry to have heard about her passing today, or I certainly wouldve tried to make it to the visitation and funeral. Im so sorry for you alls loss; she will always be remembered.

Emily Martin May 31 2018 12:00 AM

Rita was one of my most favorite people in this world. I admired her and loved her. We had much in common including wonderful grandsons. I will miss her. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Peace of Christ Sandy

Sandra Matheny May 27 2018 12:00 AM

To the Shelton Family, Dear Friends, we were so saddened to hear of the passing of beloved Rita. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Judy and Doug Revis

Judy Revis May 24 2018 12:00 AM

Mr. Shelton and Family, May God bless you during this difficult time and always. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Beverly Prince English May 24 2018 12:00 AM

My thoughts and prayers are with you! Rita was my mothers best friend - she'll be missed.

Bill Pietrzyk May 23 2018 12:00 AM

Dear William, Roger and Drucilla I am sorry I am so late in responding to the death of your mom and wife. As you all know I have loved all of you for a long time. We have had many opportunities to share talks and solve the worlds problems in 15 minutes. You mom was always a part of our conversations. I am praying for all of you during this difficult time. Love to all Judy

Judy McConnell May 23 2018 12:00 AM

Love and Prayers for the Shelton Family

Helen Kitchin and Susan Ashe May 22 2018 12:00 AM

I am so sorry to hear of Rita's passing. Our thought's and prayer's are with you all.

Gary Gunter May 22 2018 12:00 AM