Chief Master Sergeant Clayton (Clay) Fulton Shelley, age 74, passed away July 10, 2020. Born in Fayetteville/Perry, Ohio, August 6, 1945 to Lawrence General Shelley and Emily Jeanette Ellwood.
He was preceded in death by both parents and siblings Jim Shelley, Sonny Shelley, Pat Shelley, Pamela Shelley, and Alice Shelley/Begley. He dearly loved, protected, and cared for all.
He loved the family farms he grew up on, especially Hamilton, Ohio. Enlisted in U.S. Air Force first time at Vero Beach, Florida 12/63 to 6/68, worked at the US Borax, Boron Mine in California. Clay reenlisted at Randolph AFB Texas and served from 7/69 to 9/90.
He loved his Military Career, spent most of it overseas (12 YRS). As a young Airman in Germany he began his career as a sentry dog handler and so loved his dog Rex, Rex received a Medal of Honor. Clay was the first military USAF Chief assigned to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Additionally, he was Chief of Military Police at Randolph AFB, TX, for sometime. Chief Shelley faithfully served his country with Honor for 25 years in the U.S. Air Force performing duties in Personnel, Law Enforcement, and Security Forces. He retired honorably September 1, 1990 with awards and decorations, i.e., AF Training Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon w/OLC, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon w/2 OLC, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon W/5 OLC, AF Overseas Long Tour Ribbon w/3 OLC, AF Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, AF Good Conduct Medal w/7 OLC, AF Organizational Excellence Award, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Achievement Award w/OLC, AF Commendation Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal w/2 OLC.
After his military retirement he entered Civil Service & continued to work at the Randolph AFB Golf Course, Security & Defense positions, managed & maintained the Randolph Marina. He excavated & constructed a new RV storage facility for Randolph AFB. In the 2002 flood event at Canyon Lake, Texas, he maintained & reconstructed the devastated Marina (land & water) from total devastation to a bigger and much improved & productive marina. Clay suffered many years, FOUGHT HARD his entire life! He always loved Texas as a little boy and said, “I got here as fast as I could”! After all his many tours of duty, he always came back to his beloved Texas and his Stockdale Ranch. He owned the Sandy Oaks Tavern for a time & ran his own heavy equipment company. Clay loved adventure, history, his military career, politics, his family, and countless friends. He was a member of the Randolph Grand Lodge and loved all his brothers. He dearly loved his Alabama Team, “Roll Tide”! Many will miss “Chief Clay”!
Survived by Linda Shelley (wife), Jerry Shelley (Brother) Children: Shannon Cantu (daughter), Andrew Cantu, Russell Shelley (Son), Jaime Shelley, Julie & Ed Nocker, Carol & Mark Lipton, Jill & Billy Steele, Robert & Amanda Weichold, numerous Grandchildren: Ashleigh Cantu, Alexander Cantu, Gabriella Cantu, Sydney Cantu, Jacob Cantu, Caleb (Cadwell) Cantu, Grant Shelley, Ricky Shelley, Samuell Shelley, Justin & Aimee McCarty, Lauren McCarty, Jacob McCarty, Brittany Lipton Stuart & Andrew Stuart, Riley Lipton, Emily Lipton, Kayla Steele, Klayton Steele, Matthew Weichold, Grace Weichold, Caroline Weichold, Landon (Leroy) Weichold. Great Grandchildren: Paislee Stuart, Karsyn McCarty.
In Laws: Sarah Jaeckle, Bob & Tara Jaeckle, Judy & Wayne Goertz, Mark Jaeckle & Norma Jones.
Clay lived his life with honor, sincerity, and profound duty to God, Country, and Family. He filled all our lives with command, respect, and mentored many. He will be interred July 27, 2020 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas at 11am with full Military Honors and with the Patriot Guard Riders in attendance.
Current Covid restrictions limit services and will be private.
His celebration of life, accomplishments and his legacy will come later next year.
In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice.