RACINE — Mourning and love filled Greater Mount Eagle Baptist Church, 929 State St., on Friday during the funeral of David “Dee” Shelton.
Friends and family packed the pews to the point that Pastor Keith Evans asked people to make room so that everyone could find a seat. The program contained more than 100 photos of Shelton with family and friends. People came from as far as Atlanta and Texas to say their goodbyes.
It was clear Shelton had loved and been loved in return.
Shelton died from injuries sustained in a crash that occurred when the recycling truck he was driving crashed into a tree in the 2400 block of Shoop Street a little before 8 a.m. on Oct. 28. Shelton, 43, died two days later. No new information has emerged as to what led to the crash.
A whole section of pews was filled with Shelton’s coworkers from the Racine Department of Public Works. They wore shirts that read “Rest in Peace Dee ‘Shake Em Off’ Shelton” with a photo of Shelton, who was not the tallest man, standing on two overturned buckets.
Justin Turner opened his speech on Shelton stating that there was a typo in the program.
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“It says ‘co-worker.’ I’m family,” said Turner.
Turner said he has known the Shelton family since before David was born. So when Shelton walked into the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services to report for a seasonal job, the two men embraced.
“(Shelton) was more than another DPW employee,” said Turner. “He was family.
Mayor Cory Mason spoke about how difficult Shelton’s passing has been for the city and asked Shelton’s coworkers to stand.
Shelton leaves behind his wife, Nikki, whom he had known since middle school. He was living in Atlanta when he decided to move back to Racine to be with Nikki.
“That’s how I knew he was in love,” said Tony McCoy, Shelton’s best friend, during the service.
Shelton has a 13-year-old daughter, Chloe, who lives in Mississippi, and two stepchildren he referred to as his “bonus children,” Cierra and Dionta.