Asa Shelton Enjoyed Seven-Decade Relationship With LWC
Posted on Monday, September 14, 2009 [12:52 PM]
Asa Shelton and his wife, Tillie, ride in a car as grand
marshals in the 2003 Lindsey Wilson College Homecoming
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- The life and
contributions of former Lindsey Wilson College dean Asa Marshall
Shelton were celebrated Wednesday, Sept. 16, at a funeral
Shelton died Saturday at Jane Todd Crawford Hospital in
Greensburg, Ky., after a long illness. He was 97.
"Asa Shelton was one of the giants in the history of Lindsey
Wilson," LWC President William T. Luckey Jr. said shortly after
Shelton's death. "Because of his unselfish service to the
college, Lindsey Wilson was able to weather the storms of change
and blossom into the beautiful college it is today. Few people saw
Lindsey Wilson undergo more dramatic changes than Dean Shelton did
during his more than 70-year association with the college."
Shelton came to LWC in 1936 as a member of the college's
faculty. He drove from Lexington, Ky., to the college in a Model A
Ford and arrived on campus in mid-September one day before the
start of the 1936-37 school year. He took the job for a salary of
$75 a month plus room and board.
Shelton taught mathematics and physics, and in 1940 he was named
the college's registrar and dean of faculty. Until then, A.P. White
had served as the college's president, dean, registrar and Bible
Shelton said he received a $25 raise to serve as the college's
"I've always thought $25 was pretty much what a dean was worth,"
Shelton said in a 2006 interview.
In spring 1942, the Lindsey Wilson Board of Trustees name
Shelton the college's executive vice president, a position which
placed him in charge of day-to-day operations and effectively made
him acting president while White battled cancer.
"When we started school in 1943, we only had about 55 students
-- all of which were girls except a couple boys who were
handicapped. The rest were gone to the service," Shelton said in
Shelton left LWC in June 1943 to enter the U.S. Air Corps.
During World War II, he was a meteorologist in the 21st Weather
Squadron, issuing weather forecasts to Allied forces in England,
France and Germany. He left the Army Air Corps in 1946 as a
captain, and then worked for one year for the Kentucky Department
Shelton returned to LWC in 1947 as registrar and dean of the
faculty, a position he held until 1952.
When he returned to the college, enrollment had swollen to more
than 180 students, largely because of an influx of veterans from
World War II.
Shelton said there was a marked difference in the attitude among
LWC male students. Before World War II, "a lot of the boys liked to
play around a lot."
"If they didn't have to do something, they didn't do it," he
said in the 2006 interview. "After the war, they were a different
bunch. The men who came to campus after the war were much better
students - they didn't play around as much because they learned
what an education meant while they were in the service."
From 1952-1975, Shelton worked for the Dallas based Revere
Copper & Brass Co., retiring as that company's district office
supervisor. Shelton moved back to Columbia in 1979.
In the 2006 interview, Shelton recalled his two tours of duty at
Lindsey Wilson with great fondness.
"It was a very simple place -- we just had gymnasium building,
the girls' hall, the administration building, boys' hall and the
little training school," he said. "I liked teaching at Lindsey
Wilson more than anything I've done."
In 1996, the Lindsey Wilson College Board of Trustees and
Faculty honored Shelton with a doctor of human letters, honoris
Shelton was born Sept. 1, 1912, on a 100-acre farm in Clark
County, Ky., located about five miles from Winchester, to the late
Marshall and Jessie Ingram Shelton. Shelton earned a bachelor of
arts degree in 1935 from Kentucky Wesleyan College, which was still
located in Winchester. While a student at KWC, Shelton served as
captain of the college's varsity basketball team. Shelton then
earned a master of arts degree in 1937 from the University of
He came to LWC thanks to a contact with former LWC President
R.V. Bennett. Shelton took classes from Bennett - who had become
KWC's president and also taught math at the college. When a
position opened at LWC, Bennett endorsed Shelton for the job.
"I was planning on getting my PhD in math, but the person who
was teaching math (at LWC) got a job a UK, so Dr. Bennett helped me
get the job down here," he said.
Shelton was most recently a member of the Columbia United
Shelton was preceded in death by his first wife, Allie Breeding
Dillon Shelton, an Adair County native and a 1937 LWC alumna; and a
son, David A. Shelton.
Shelton is survived by his wife, Dorothy "Tillie" Wood Shelton,
who is a 1952 LWC alumna; a son: Dan Shelton of Huntsville, Texas;
a grandson, Richard B. Shelton of Plano, Texas; and three
step-daughters: Sue Zanco of Baton Rouge, La., and Julie Bosworth
and Margaret Carter, both of Charolotte, N.C.
Memorial Scholarships ...
Memorials are suggested to Columbia UMC, the Asa, Allie and David
Shelton Scholarship Fund at LWC, or the Dorothy "Tillie" Shelton
Scholarship Fund at LWC. To make a contribution to either LWC
scholarship fun, contact the LWC Development Office at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 384-8400.