Larry Shelton of Nashville, TN passed away on April 17, 2023, at the age of 88.
Born in Paducah, Kentucky on August 4, 1934, to Annabelle and Brandon Shelton, he was the oldest of two sons.
He graduated from Lone Oak High School in 1952 with honors. In 1954, he graduated from Paducah Junior College and later earned his BS degree in accounting from Bowling Green Business University, which later became Western Kentucky University. He then went on to graduate from the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
Larry began his professional business career with Genesco, Inc. in 1956, during which time he passed the CPA exam. He worked at Genesco for 39 years, retiring in 1995. During his storied career, Larry served as both President and Chief Operating Officer. He was a leader who created an environment that inspired employees to follow his Motto to “Be the Best”. He was known for his integrity and fairness. He recognized employees as the most important company asset and took extreme pride in their success and accomplishments. He was admired and respected by all that knew him.
His reputation and leadership skills were unsurpassed in the retail industry. One of his favorite memories was the opportunity to visit The Oval Office to present President Gerald Ford with a pair of custom fitted Johnston & Murphy shoes, a long-standing Genesco Presidential tradition.
In addition to his time in Nashville, Larry spent 4 years in both New York, and Allentown, PA as the CEO of Grief Companies, a subsidiary of Genesco. He was very active in the apparel industry, serving as Chairman of the AAMA, as well as a Board member for several years afterward. He served on the Board of Danskin for 15 years, as well as a member of the following: Men’s Clothing Manufacturers Association; Textile Clothing Technology Corporation and Footwear Retailer’s Association.
In 1984, he was the recipient of the Brotherhood Award presented by the National Conference of Christians and Jews in New York City.
Larry was involved with several Nashville charitable organizations. He served as a member of the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts for many years, being active in fund raising and budget management. He was the Recipient of the “Silver Beaver Award”.
He was a member of the Boards of both the Nashville Red Cross and the Nashville United Way, as well as a graduate of the Leadership Nashville Program.
Larry and Rosemary lived in the Brighton Close community over 20 years. He was the Chairman of the finance committee there and was proud of the pivotal role he played with its finances. He also served as a Board member at Hillwood Country Club.
After retiring, they spent several years in Bonita Springs, FL, where he continuously honed his golf skills, eventually sinking a highly coveted hole-in-one. He twice attended the Masters Golf Tournament and even had the opportunity to play the course. He loved sports in general. He was a huge Titans fan. He was a fan of Vanderbilt basketball, but also enjoyed watching University of Kentucky games so that he and his brother David could later conduct their own post-game analysis.
Larry is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Rosemary, daughter Tracey (Billy) Clay of Destin, FL, son Ted (Shawn) Shelton of Nashville, stepson Billy Broker of Nashville, grandson, Heath Shelton of Nashville, step-granddaughter Gracyn Broker of Nashville, brother David (Diana) Shelton of Alpharetta, GA and niece, Melissa Shelton Creel of Alpharetta, GA.
Larry was a loving and compassionate husband, father, brother, grandfather, and uncle to his family and a friend and mentor to those fortunate enough to know him. The family would like to thank the Hospice nurses and the caretakers from Rita’s Care at Home for their wonderful care and attention.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Annabelle and Brandon Shelton, his stepdaughter, Susan Broker Auerbach and niece, Mindy Lea Shelton.
Larry lived his life in accordance with his favorite Frank Sinatra song, ‘I Did It My Way’.
The family will receive friends at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens, 9090 Highway 100 on Saturday, April 22, 2023, with visitation beginning at 12:00pm, followed by service in the chapel at 1:30pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Larry’s honor to Adoration Hospice Foundation, 1210 Briarville Rd, Bld D, Ste A, Madison, TN 37115.