‘Gazette-Virginian’ Publisher Shelton Dies at 74

By: E&P Staff

Keith A. Shelton, owner and publisher of The Gazette-Virginian, South Boston, Va., died July 24. He was 74, and had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for several years.

Shelton spent 50 years at the 10,344-circulation thrice-weekly, succeeding his father, Lynn. In an obituary carried on the paper’s Website Sunday, Paula I. Bryant wrote that Shelton always maintained that “the most important role of a newspaper was to get the news produced by government and make it understandable for the readers.” Shelton’s “Talk of the Town” column “often pricked the conscience of leaders” and, “when necessary, could peel the paint off a barn,” she wrote.

Before joining the paper, Shelton followed in his father’s footsteps by serving as editor of Furman University’s newspaper and working at The Greenville (S.C.) News while at Furman. He left graduate studies at Duke University to join his father and buy the Gazette-Virginian from partners, according to the paper, which noted that it eventually expanded to three issues per week and moved into a new, larger headquarters.

Described as conservative and patriotic, Shelton had been an officer in the National Guard, a former United Way president and a coach in youth sports.

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