Carolyn Shelton left this world rather suddenly on Wednesday January 31st. She was surrounded by family and passed peacefully after a very short stay at Lucas County Health Center. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2024, at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. A visitation will take place at 9:00 a.m. prior to the service. Burial will be held at the Norwood Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Carolyn's name to the Lucas County Inter-Church Council Food Pantry.
She was born Carolyn Joyce Rodgers on September 1st, 1940, in Lucas County to Joseph Alexander and Axeline Signe Freda (Bergman) Rodgers. During her childhood, her parents moved to a small community in north central Iowa called Burnside where she met and married her husband Charles (also from Lucas County) and bore him their first child Charles Joseph in 1962.
She worked as a lab tech in Ft. Dodge while her husband worked in a plating factory. They enjoyed life in their small town of Burnside just a few blocks from her parents’ home. In 1966, they returned to Lucas County and began their farming careers on an acreage eight miles south of Chariton in a small two-story house built in 1895. Two more children would be added to the family shortly thereafter; Carolyn Sue in 1967 and Benjamin Thomas in 1968.
Farming had its ups and downs but was never short of hard work. Carolyn somehow found a way to put in a long, hard day on the farm and still put three meals on the table and keep up with laundry and household demands as well as manage the books. Many of her neighbors and relatives considered her to be the hardest working woman in the county (or the state for that matter).
She focused feverishly on the farm and had little time or interest in festive events that would take time or labor from the farm, but she always found time for family festivities such as Sunday dinner at Grandma Dort’s and rarely missed athletic events for her kids.
Her relatives, neighbors and friends would describe her as a no nonsense, down to earth, logical, tough as nails gal that never stopped working ‘til the job was done. Her husband Charlie passed away in 2016 shortly after they built their new home very close to the original farmhouse. She would spend her final years happily retired in that home just watching television and enjoying visits from her kids and grandkids on an almost daily basis. Although a bout with shingles gave her tremendous pain during those years, she always had a smile and was quiet about her pain.
She delighted in quiet times in her home and enjoyed watching sports, especially women’s basketball and pro wrestling. She had several euphemisms that were specific and unique only to her. Phrases such as ‘madder than a wet hornet’, ‘it’ll all work out in the wash’, ‘keep ‘er ‘tween the ditches’ and ‘scratch your mad spot’ (to name a few) served as her way of saying stay at peace and all is well at every good-bye. Carolyn would always yodel at the end of a hard day of work or an extensive food preservation project.
Her faith in God was strong and we know that she’s in heaven surrounded by her relatives, friends, and a thousand dogs, cats, and even some pigs and cows that were her favorites.
She is survived by her sister, Cathy (Bill) Beede of Billings, Montana; three children: Chuck (Lesha) Shelton, Sue (Tim) Curnutte, and Ben (Jen) Shelton; six grandchildren: Kellen (Erin Bunce) Curnutte, Ethan Curnutte, Jackson Curnutte, Maddy (Noah Heckman), Mallory Shelton, and Alex Shelton; and two step-grandchildren, Christopher and Courtney Gifford. She is preceded in death by her husband, Charlie in 2016; parents, Joseph and Axeline; sisters: Margaret (Rodgers) Carr, Gladys (Rodgers) Heinkel , Shirley Rodgers, and infant sister, Jolene Rodgers.