JAMES WILLIAM SHELTON, aged 79 years, passed away on April 28, 2021 at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights. He was the beloved husband for 46 years to Janis “Jan” (nee Piwkowski), devoted son of the late J. Reid and Leah (nee Brown), cherished brother of Peg Snyder (husband Dick) and Pat Nierode (husband Dale), loving uncle and great-uncle.
James William Shelton
November 6, 1941 – April 28, 2021
Jim loved me. After 46 years, he still smiled when he saw me. There was joy in his voice when he announced at the hospital, “My wife is here.”
Jim’s favorite TV genre was science fiction. He introduced me to “Star Trek” and continued to seek out new sci-fi TV series. None-the-less, he said he didn’t believe in time travel. He cheerfully tolerated my love of “rom-coms,” recording Hallmark movies and then watching with me.
Jim was a longtime jazz enthusiast. As far back as college he traveled to New York City with some buddies. While the other guys went off to do whatever, Jim went to the jazz clubs to soak in the live music. Beyond jazz, he had widely eclectic taste, as evidenced by a CD collection which included 50’s oldies, Caribbean steel drum, Andes pan pipe, hammered dulcimer, “opera without words” (the CD cover art is an opera diva in Viking costume and horned headdress, silenced by a gag across her mouth), brass ensembles, a bit of classical, and the close harmony of Manhattan Transfer.
Jim loved flowers, particularly the white giant bearded iris with orange centers which multiplied in our front garden. He subdivided them and planted some around the back patio, too. He delighted in the first little white snowdrops of spring, liked the pretty multicolored blooms of portulaca. With the dwarf marigolds, he preferred the deep red ones flecked with gold. He liked to stroll the little front and back gardens of our condo unit to investigate what was emerging, as well as drive around our condo development to check on others’ gardening efforts.
Jim enjoyed comfort food: homemade meatloaf, pot roast, turkey with stuffing, tuna noodle casserole, and teriyaki salmon. Always pie a la mode (I’m not a pie baker, but he didn’t care if the pie was store bought). Dining al fresco was a special treat, especially the deck at El Palenque where we could still enjoy fajitas during the covid pandemic.
Jim put his analytical mind to good use in following the stock market. He was self-taught and would gladly expound on his strategies and latest buy or sell. When he tried to explain to me, my eyes would glaze over after a short time, ‘cause what I mostly cared about (other than retirement security) was funds to travel.
Jim planned our honeymoon to Florida’s Walt Disney World and Ft. Lauderdale in 1975, and I planned every trip thereafter. Jim was a great travel partner. We sailed on 31 cruises between 1989 and 2011, a total of over 300 days aboard ship, traveling as far east as Turkey, north to Iceland, south to Chile, and west to Christmas Island in the Pacific on the international dateline. Jim once told me that I’d taken him to places that weren’t even on his list; I told him his list wasn’t long enough.
So now Jim is on the ultimate adventure seeing the face of God. While I miss him dearly, I know that when my time comes Jim will be waiting to smile at me and say, “My wife is here.”
The family anticipates holding a Celebration of Life to pay tribute to the life of Jim in early fall. Arrangements entrusted to THE DeJOHN-FLYNN-MYLOTT FUNERAL HOME OF WILLOUGHBY HILLS.Print This Obituary & Condolences