Cover photo for Richard  VanDorn Shelby's Obituary
Richard  VanDorn Shelby Profile Photo

Richard VanDorn Shelby

d. June 8, 2018

Richard VanDorn Shelby, died on June 8, 2018, at the Indiana Veteran’s Home, West Lafayette, Indiana, with his family at his bedside. He was 91. Richard was born in Danville, Illinois to Frank and Helen VanDorn Shelby. He grew up in Covington, Indiana, where he graduated from Covington High School in 1944. He enlisted into the United States Army in the fall of 1944, serving at Camp Atterbury before basic training at Ft. McClellan, Alabama, followed by officer training at Ft.  Benning, Georgia. He served as a Second Lieutenant, 41st Engineer General Service Regiment in Namur, Belgium and Bremerhaven, Germany. He was awarded the Expert Infantryman Badge, American Theater Ribbon, World War II Army of Occupation Germany Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

After being released from the Army, he returned to Covington, Indiana to farm on the family farm, which is a Hoosier Homestead Farm, having been in the family continuously from November 1824 to the present. Upon his return from the Army, he met the love of his life, Edna, and they were married for 71 years.

From November 1950 to the summer of 1987, Richard owned and operated Shelby Furniture in Covington, Indiana. After closing his store, he worked at L.S. Ayres in Indianapolis in the carpet department before moving to Florida in 1988, where he worked at Haverty Furniture until he retired in 1998. Richard and his wife relocated to Lafayette, Indiana in September 2016, just in time to celebrate his 90th birthday with his extended family.

Richard was  a  member  of  the Lions Club,  Veterans  of  Foreign  Wars,  Sons  of  the  American Revolution, a past master of the Fountain Masonic Lodge (Covington, Indiana), and Scottish Rite in Indianapolis. He was awarded the commission of Kentucky Colonel.  Richard found great pleasure in riding horses on the family farm, working with his tools, selling furniture, genealogy, playing bridge, and working with stained glass. He loved the outdoors and hunting morel mushrooms in the spring in Indiana. The greatest joy in his life was spending time with his family and being reunited with his family in Indiana in the past two years brought him great pleasure.

Richard is survived by his wife, Edna; son, Ronald (Susan) Shelby of Vero Beach, Florida; daughter, Beth Goodrick of Lafayette, Indiana; daughter, Katherine Shelby of Indianapolis, Indiana; grandson, Greg Goodrick of Montezuma, Indiana; granddaughter, Heidi Zenor of Attica, Indiana; grandson, Brock (Amanda) Goodrick of Lafayette, Indiana; grandson, Richard (Christina) Shelby; and 4 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his 5 siblings: Robert (Helen) Shelby of Covington, Indiana; Donald (Martha) Shelby of West Lafayette, Indiana; Virginia Bennett of Richardson, Texas; Emma (Richard) Davis of  Micco, Florida; and Mary Hoagland of West Lafayette, Indiana, and 18 nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Helen VanDorn Shelby Scholarship at the Western Indiana Community Foundation or a charity of your choice. Richard’s family would like to thank the  staff  at  the  Indiana  Veteran’s  Home  for  the  care and comfort that they provided to him.

Visitation will be Monday, June 11, 2018, from 5:00-7:00 pm at Shelby Funeral Home, Covington, Indiana, with Masonic Services at the conclusion of visitation. Funeral service will be Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm at Shelby Funeral Home, Covington, with Bruce Thornsbrough officiating. Burial will be in Bend Cemetery with military honors.


Shelby Funeral Home

Monday, June 11, 2018 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM 622 3rd Street
Covington, Indiana 47932 Directions Funeral Service

Shelby Funeral Home

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM 622 3rd Street
Covington, Indiana 47932 Directions
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard VanDorn Shelby, please visit our flower store.


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