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Mary C. Shelton
April 12, 1943 ~ February 3, 2018 (age 74)
Stella Mary Coward Shelton passed away February 3, 2019, at the age of 75. Mary was born April 12, 1943 in Cameron, Texas to Warren and Estelle (Cryer) Coward. Her father Warren was a regional director at CP&L, while her mother Estelle owned Lo-Re Dress Shop in San Benito, Texas. They were very loving parents who always took care of their family. Because her younger brother Mike was not born until Mary was around 15, for the most part she grew up as an only child, and enjoyed many happy times with her parents. After graduating from Del Rio High School, Mary went on to obtain her Masters’ Degree in education. She worked as a home economics teacher for many years before moving into administration with Texas A&M. Before employment with Texas A&M, Mary was a County Extension Agent with Cameron County.
Mary met her husband Dennis B. Shelton at the Church of Christ Church in Rogers, Texas after Aunt Lucy set them up. The two were married in 1985 and were blessed with 33 good years of marriage. Mary adopted both of her children, Lisa Marie Reece of Oxnard, California, and James Michael “Jimmy” Burkhalter of Round Rock and was a loving mother and wonderful role model to them. She showed them the value of hard work and dedication as she earned her Masters’ Degree while raising them as a single parent, without complaining. When they were younger, Mary often took her kids with her to the home economics and 4H events at school when she was a teacher. Her son Jimmy has many fond memories of waiting in a Pinto for the Whataburger reward that came from attending these events with mom. She took time to share her love of cooking with her children. She taught them to cook and made sure they could take care of themselves. She knew that “any man who knows how to cook and sew can find the perfect woman,” so she made sure to raise her children with the necessary skills.
Mary was a friendly, kind woman with a high level of integrity. She was extremely devout in her faith and read her Bible every night. An active member of the Brazos Valley Church of Christ, Mary lived out her faith through her generous spirit. She enjoyed doing crafts, sewing, and cooking in her free time, but reading was her true passion.
Mary leaves behind her husband Dennis B. Shelton, her daughter Lisa Marie Reece, her son Jimmy Burkhalter, her granddaughter Brenley Hannah Burkhalter of Austin, and her brother and sister-in-law Mike and Cricket Coward of Orange Park, Florida.
Family and friends are invited to share memories, photos and tributes on our Tribute Wall to celebrate the legacy of love that Mary leaves for all who knew her.