Cover photo for Thornton Shelton's Obituary
Thornton Shelton Profile Photo
1939 Thornton 2021

Thornton Shelton

June 24, 1939 — January 17, 2021


Thornton E. Shelton, Sr, 81 of Independence, Kansas passed away, Sunday, January 17, 2021 at the Medical Lodges, Independence, Kansas. A Homecoming Celebration will be held Saturday, January 23, 2021 at the Berean Christian Mission Center, 405 S. 19th Street. 10:30am-11:00 viewing, 11:00am service. Masks are required. Services not open to public, family only. Virtual Services Information: Facebook Live with the Berean Christian Mission Center beginning at 10:30am on Saturday. If you plan to send remarks or condolences to the family, please email them to by Thursday, January 21, 2021 by 12:00 P.M. Arrangements are entrusted with Webb & Rodrick Chapel.

Thornton was born June 24, 1939 in Kansas City, Missouri to Mae Esther Townsend (Otis) and Jesse Shelton.  He was raised in Kansas City, Missouri.  He graduated from Lincoln High School in Kansas City, Missouri.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma, his Master’s degree from Texas A&M, Commerce, Texas and received an Education Specialist Degree from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.  Thornton married Rev. Johnetta C. (Brown) Shelton on June 6, 1961 in Paola, Kansas.  They came to Independence in 1972.

For over 35 years, he worked as a science teacher and varsity coach (football, basketball, track and field) until he retired in 2001.  One passion he was so blessed to work in was sports. He helped shape high school students and athletes in achieving their dreams at the collegiate and professional levels.  He was and shall always remain an inspiration and role model not only to his own family but to those he connected with along the way.   In addition, he worked at Layton Oil Company.  He was a master track runner and competed all over the country.   An avid  reader, a person skillful in solving cross word puzzles and interest in animals.  In 1966, he was apart of a group that chartered  the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.   Over the years, he was recognized for numerous academic and athletic achievements.  He loved football and was a long time fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and the University of Oklahoma (OU) football program.  He never missed watching a game. He was a long time member of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church.  He continued his spiritual  journey as a member of Berean Christian Mission Center where he served as a teacher at Vacation Bible School for many years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and one son.

He leaves to cherish his memories a step-mother, Barbara Shelton, Meridian, Mississippi; brother, Thurman Eugene Shelton of Leesburg, Florida; sister, Paulette V. Baldwin of Kansas City, Missouri; four children, Elder Angela D. Cherry (Donnel) of Hampton, Va.; Dr. Andrea D. Hendricks (Terrance) of Lees Summit, Mo; Mr. Thornton E. Shelton, Jr of Columbus, Ohio and Ms. Anita D. Shelton of Plano, Tx, eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

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