Richard L. Shackelford was born in Kingsport, Tennessee, on Feb. 4, 1947, the oldest of three sons of Richard James and Gladys Marie Shackelford. After graduating from Church Hill High School in 1967, he was drafted into the Army and stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, where he earned the National Defense Service Medal. After his honorable discharge he enrolled in East Tennessee State University and transferred to Mobile Christian where he earned an associate degree while working for Northwest Airlines, a career lasting 35 years. After his retirement he pursued commercial real estate in Tampa, Florida.
The love of his life was Sandra Shackelford, whom he met in Mobile. He was a loving and thoughtful husband who lived to serve. His service extended to FUMC Opelika as a trustee and formerly on the Board of Stewards in Mobile at St. Paul’s Episcopal and in Tampa at St. John’s Episcopal.
He was the kind of loving father of Lisa, Brian and Heather. Mere words cannot express the thoughtful, caring and optimistic approach to life Richard possessed. He saw good in everybody and joyfully made homemade birthday cards for family humorously branded ‘Cards on the Cheap.’ We all looked forward to getting these. He loved to cook for family, play golf with friends and go fishing with grandchildren. He loved the adventure of travel and the outdoors and also being in fellowship with others.
No matter where he was or who he was with he always wore a smile and had an infectious laugh. His good spirit went with him everywhere. The loss of Richard Shackelford is the loss of the example for which all should strive. It is an understatement to say he will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his wife Sandra Lenoir Shackelford and two brothers Chuck Shackelford, James Arthur Shackelford (Ginger); three children Lisa Shackelford Gangloff (Jimmy), Brian Shackelford (Stacy), Heather Shackelford Cannon (Race); grandchildren Cody
Gangloff, Brandon Gangloff, Callie Shackelford, Cole Shackelford, Cooper Shackelford, Caroline Cannon, Holt Cannon, Pierce Cannon and Eli Cannon; great-grandchildren Kaedance Gangloff,
Audreana Gangloff, and Emmerson Gangloff; and many nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles.
A visitation will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday Jan. 26, at First United Methodist Church, Opelika with a memorial service to follow in the sanctuary at 11 a.m. He will be buried at his wife’s family cemetery in Purvis, Mississippi, in a private ceremony on Jan. 27.