Shelor, Harold E.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Harold E. Shelor, 87, of Salem, Va., passed away on Friday, November 4, 2011. He was born on January 26, 1924, in Christiansburg, Va., son of the late Emmett and Irene Ridinger Shelor. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Doris Plybon Shelor. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Frank and Harvey Shelor.

Mr. Shelor is survived by two sons and daughter-in-law, Michael Shelor and David and Connie Shelor; four grandchildren, Kathryn Shelor Stone and husband, Tim, Stacey Shelor Owen and husband, Zach, Andrew Shelor and wife, Natalie, and Neil Shelor; six great-grandchildren, Reece Owen, Rex Owen, Blake Shelor, Julia Mae Shelor, Jackson Stone and Madeline Stone; three brothers, Sherman Shelor and wife, Betty, Jack Shelor, and Wayne Shelor; brother-in-law, Joe Holt and wife, Mary; sisters-in-law, Hazel Shelor, Patsy Shelor, and Sarah Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Harold graduated from Andrew Lewis High School in Salem, Va., in 1942. He was described by coach Guy H. “Pinky” Spruhan as one of the 10 best athletes to ever to graduate from the school. He was listed in the Senior Mirror as “Most Athletic.” He was captain of both the basketball and baseball teams his senior year. A star player, he was named All City County and All Western District in both Sports his junior and senior years. He was also a valued football player on the varsity team for three years.

After graduating from high school, Harold was employed at the Radford Arsenal for a short time before being inducted into the United States Army where he was assigned to the Corps of Engineers. Over the next two years his unit had responsibility for training military personnel in the conduct of engineering operations under wartime conditions. Returning to Salem following discharge from the Army, Harold was employed initially by Keith Sausage Company and later by Blue Plate Foods. He was also employed for a short period of time with the Salem Hosiery Mill before becoming associated with General Foods Company as their area representative.

In 1954, Harold joined with Hugh Jones to co-found a food service company which was incorporated as Roanoke Restaurant Service. Over the next 25 years the company would undergo enormous expansion in terms of variety of foods distributed, size of the territory covered by sales staff, and need for new and enlarged warehouse and freezer capacity. Under Harold’s leadership Roanoke Restaurant Service became the largest food service company in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1979, Harold retired from the business.

During his career in the food service business, Harold served on the board of Directors of the National Institutional Food Distributors Association for a period of 20 years. He also served on the board of First National Exchange Bank, has been a member of the Penguin Club in Salem since it was organized in 1940, and is an active member of Salem Sports Foundation. He is also a member of the Windsor Hills Baptist Church and has served as Deacon.

Harold married his high school sweetheart, Doris, now deceased. In recognition of his outstanding career achievements, Harold E. Shelor was inducted, in the year 2000 into the Salem Alumni Hall of Fame established by the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association.

Graveside Funeral Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Monday, November 7, 2011, at Sherwood Memorial Park with the Rev. Lawrence Dodson officiating. The family will receive friends on Sunday evening, November 6, 2011, from 4 to 7 p.m. at John M. Oakey and Son Funeral Home in Salem.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Becky Rae and Karen Wilson for their dedicated and loving care given to Harold during his illness.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Harold’s name to the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association, P.O. Box 1461, Salem, VA 24153 or to the Penguin Club Christmas Basket Fund, P.O. 375, Salem, VA 24153.