Shelden Chadburn Smith was born October 7, 1938 in Summit, Utah to Elden Orton Smith and Remola Chadburn Smith. He was the second of four children. He lived in Summit for the first five years of his life and then the family moved to Cedar City, where they remained for the next four years. When Shelden was nine-years-old, the family relocated to Parowan, where he happily worked, played, and lived out the remainder of his seventy-five years.
Blessed with boundless energy and a remarkable work ethic, Shelden always worked hard for what he got. Beginning at the tender age of nine, he went to work at his father’s garage and gas station, which was located on Parowan’s main street on the corner of First South. He spent his hours after school pumping gas and doing odd jobs around the station. As he grew, so did his responsibilities.
After he graduated from Parowan High School, he felt compelled to give college a try. With a few semesters under his belt at Southern Utah State College, he decided what he really wanted to do was come back to Parowan, marry his high school sweetheart, and go into business with his dad at the Shell station.
Shelden married his sweetheart, Luella Phillips, on April 6, 1957 in the St. George LDS temple. The union of Shelden and Lue produced three children, LueShell (Gordon) Mortensen of San Jose, CA; Kevin (Jet) Smith of Parowan, UT; and Brady (Holly) Smith of Herriman, UT.
Besides being employed at the Shell station with his dad, Shelden worked as a fuel delivery driver for Ernie McFarland, a job he was grateful to have after the sudden passing of his father, which necessitated the subsequent sale of the Shell station.
In addition to working at the Shell station and hauling and delivering fuel, Shelden also worked as a delivery driver for Leigh Furniture in Cedar City. The driving and delivery job eventually transitioned into a stint as a carpet installer, a job he did for six years. In 1964, Shelden went to work as a security guard for Wackenhut Security at the Nevada Test Site (now the Nevada National Security Site). Although the job provided a good living, he regretted the time spent away from his family.
In 1992, after commuting to Nevada for twenty-eight years, Shelden hung up his badge and sidearm and spent his retirement traveling to see his daughter’s family in California, his son’s family in northern Utah, and raking, mowing, planting, and watering his little piece of heaven on earth.
Shelden loved everything to do with the outdoors and spent many happy days hunting and fishing in the mountains of Utah. He was an experienced and skilled marksman, and could often be found at the gun range honing his shooting skills on paper targets or aluminum cans. His skilled marksmanship served him well during his tenure as a proud member of US National Guard Unit 222.
Although he will be sorely missed, Shelden’s larger-than-life patriarchal legacy lives on in his loving family. He is survived by his wife; his three children; six grandchildren: McKenzie Mortensen, Whitney (Quintin) Mortensen, Erica Smith, Stefan (Lynae) Smith, Trevor Smith, Justin Smith; one great-grandson, Tennant Smith; and two sisters, Omah Lee (Max) Maxwell of Bloomington Hills, UT and Joan (Jeff) Wardle of Elk Ridge, UT. Shelden was preceded in death by his elder sister, Shirley Talbot, formerly of St. George, UT.
A funeral service celebrating Shelden’s life will be held on Saturday the 5th of July at 2:00 PM at the Parowan 2nd Ward Chapel, immediately followed by a grave dedication at the Parowan City Cemetery. Viewings will be held on Friday the 4th of July from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and prior to the funeral at 12:30 PM to1:30 PM in the Parowan 2nd Ward Relief Society Room. Interment will take place in the Parowan City Cemetery under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary.