Cheryl Kift (CK) Shelton of Gunnison, Colo., passed away peacefully Dec. 31, 2020 in a Denver hospital where she had been for many weeks following surgery for a previous health issue.
CK was born in Dallas on Nov. 20 to Geneva Fennel Kift and Joseph Harrell Gwin. CK was adopted by Charles William Kift. Her dad was career Navy, and she grew up living at various stations. Maine was her favorite. Her family moved to the Texarkana area in time for CK to finish her senior year at Texas High.
CK married Howard Elliott Shelton of Red Lick, Texas in 1962 and is survived by their two sons, a daughter, and their families: Scott and Nisha Shelton of Singapore, Steve and Alyson Shelton of Texarkana, Ark., and Sherry Shelton of Gunnison, Colo. CK is the proud grandmother to James Scott Shelton of Houston. She is survived by her beloved brother and sister-in-law Chuck and Sue Kift of Texarkana and their children. She is also survived by dear friends Janet Ham, Cindy Brizzolara, and Ann DeVoe, and many more cherished loved ones, including friends old and new. CK is predeceased by her parents, her children’s father and his parents James Earl and Alice Comma Pierce Shelton, her grandparents Chanler Monroe and Ruby Mae Cox Fennel of Paris, Texas, Aunt Betty Kathryn Fennel and husband Charles Rex Kirkindoll of Mesquite, Texas, and Uncle Billy Joe Fennel of Paris, Texas.
CK’s most valued accomplishment was raising her children well. Once her children were all in grade school, CK returned to working outside her home and was employed with the Texarkana Independent School District. She had many special students she remained fond of. After retiring, she stayed in Texarkana to be near Steve and delighted in visits to see Scott in Asia. Eventually, CK followed Sherry west to the Rocky Mountains. CK settled in the Gunnison Valley in 2010 where she enjoyed the snow, the wildlife, the cooler summers, and her many friends.
CK loved being a mother, and she was a wonderful one. She was a fancy lady. She loved babies. She liked to laugh and make us laugh. CK appreciated nice clothes and good, simple food. She liked to read, listen to good music, and to dance. She loved sports, especially baseball and football. CK very much loved animals and would adopt them all if she could. CK’s precious Yorkies, Dakota and Isabella, are still with us and bring us much joy for knowing that they gave her the same.
CK directed that we have no funeral for her; instead, her children wish to visit with you over sweet tea and CK’s favorite desserts and dishes, with hugs and laughter, once we are safe to gather again and the current pandemic no longer prevents our socializing. In the meantime, stay kind to yourselves and each other and think about the CK stories you’ll tell.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in CK’s memory. Suggested charities include the Porter Adventist Hospital Foundation, centura.org/porter-adventist-hospital-foundation or any animal shelter such as Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League, gvawl.org and the Texarkana Animal League, texarkanaanimalleague.org.