​Honorable Jimmy Doug Shelton



Tupelo-One of Tupelo’s most celebrated attorney’s and champion of the least, last and most vulnerable amongst us, Hon. Jimmy Douglas Shelton died suddenly Wednesday morning, December 13, 2017 at his residence in East Tupelo of an apparent heart attack. Jimmy Doug was from a pioneer East Tupelo family and was born here on July 26, 1937 to the late John W. and Willie Davis Shelton. He attended Tupelo High School, Itawamba Junior College, graduated from Mississippi State University and received his J.D. from the Jackson School of Law. Counselor Shelton practiced law in Tupelo from 1967-2004 at the Shelton Law Firm where he tried by jury over 1000 cases in his long legal career. He was an astute student of the law and had a passionate heart for the little man often representing poor people pro bono. He was one of the first white attorneys in the State of Mississippi to passionately and actively represent and advocate for African-American clients.

An entrepreneur and businessman, Jimmy Doug owned rental properties, dealt in used cars, formerly owned a restaurant and shoe store and actively pursued other business interests in his life. Mr. Shelton believed in Tupelo and Northeast Mississippi and was a great promoter of the economic development of the area. A lifelong Democrat, he was a political activist whose advice and encouragement was sought by many aspiring politicians. Jimmy Doug was instrumental in the development of East Tupelo, especially the Elvis Presley Birthplace and took great pride in the unfolding legal and political careers of his sons, Jon and Jason. He was a member of the Open Door Baptist Church.

He served many years in the Mississippi National Guard and took great pride in being one of the Mississippi National Guard service members called to active duty by President John F. Kennedy to integrate the University of Mississippi.

A service celebrating his life will be held at 2 PM Friday, December 15, 2017 at the East Heights Baptist Church in Tupelo with Bro. Ben Raper, Bro. Jerry King, Rev. Chris Traylor, and Bro. Tim Brown officiating with eulogies by Attorney General Jim Hood, Judge Jim Roberts and Judge Jacqueline Mask and others. Pall Bearers will be Barry Shelton, Constable Phil Gann, Tommy Doty, Judge Willie Allen, Lee County Prosecutor James Moore, Mike Bell, Brad Morris, Stacy Wilson, and James Taylor. Judge Paul Funderburk and all members of the Lee County Bar Association will serve as an honorary pall bearers. Private burial will be in the Shelton Family Plot at Priceville Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 PM-8PM Thursday at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors and from Noon-service time on Friday at East Heights Baptist Church.

Counselor Shelton leaves his two sons who followed him in the legal profession; Hon. Jon D. Shelton and Mayor Jason L. Shelton both of Tupelo and his long time special friend, Sue Carnathan of Tupelo. A niece, Sherrie Dickerson (Buddy) of Tupelo and nephew, Barry Shelton (Amy) of Madison, MS., his sister in law, Mrs. Billy (Ruth) Shelton of Saltillo. Numerous cousins and a host of friends everywhere. He was preceded in death by his parents , his brother, Hon. Billy Shelton, Attorney at Law and two infant siblings.

Memorials may be made to the Elvis Presley Birthplace Foundation, P. O. Box 1339, Tupelo, MS. 38802.
Condolences may be e mailed to hollandfuneraldirectors@comcast.net