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In Memoriam: Harry Shelton

In Memoriam: Harry Shelton

Harry Shelton

Harry M. Shelton Jr. died on June 9th, 2009 at The University of Virginia Medical Center of complications from hemophilia. He was 57 years old.

Harry lived his life as a champion – while not being able to take part in the usual physical activities of his peers; he always fought hard to live as normal a life as possible in spite of the challenges of a debilitating disease. He was successful in building a rewarding career and he raised a wonderful family despite the odds. His perseverance was so strong that he was able to hold on longer than most of his contemporaries who shared his disability.

His physical limitations led him to turn to the intellectual life; while not an enthusiast of the structured learning encountered during his stints at Shenandoah & James Madison he had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Harry loved movies & music, but he found books to be his favorite source of information. It was not uncommon for him to have three or four books going at one time. His preferred genres were science fiction and crime fiction which both helped to fuel his wild and broad imagination. He took his reading to the next level when he began extensive research on surrealist art, particularly the works of Joseph Cornell about which he was preparing to write a book.

Born in Washington, D.C, Harry was a lifelong Redskin fan. Harry’s other great passions included Civil War history, traveling frequently with other experts to the various battlefields in the area; and watching classic films, either at home, in the theater, or at The Virginia Film Festival. Harry’s life had an extensive soundtrack to all his scholarly pursuits and to the family life of which he was so proud, but he always preferred jazz music which was his ‘Love Supreme’.

Harry is survived by his parents, Harry Sr. and Bettie Shelton, his wife Anita, a son Charles, a daughter Emily and Emily’s daughter Ayla Jade.

The family will hold a private memorial service to celebrate Harry’s life and passions.

A special thank you to the skilled and compassionate medical team at the University of Virginia Medical Center for the many years of care and caring they provided Harry.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to WTJU-FM, University of Virginia, P. O. Box 400811, Charlottesville, VA 22904 ( or you may consider a blood donation to Virginia Blood Services.

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