Dorothy W. Shackelford

Published 2:23 pm Tuesday, March 30, 2021

It is with great sadness that the family of Dorothy Wallace Shackelford announces her passing on March 26, 2021 at the age of 93 at her home in Washington, N.C.  She was born in Dover and was a long time resident of Kinston and Lenoir County.

Her true passion and calling in her professional life was nursing. She began her education at Campbell College before attending Memorial General Hospital Nurse Training School to become a registered nurse. As a student, she was a member of the Cadet Nursing Corps during WWII. Throughout her professional career, she practiced in many areas of nursing. She participated in the first Stroke Study out of UNC-Chapel Hill traveling to many NC counties, interviewing patients and gathering data. She was an ICU-CCU nurse at Lenoir Memorial Hospital and in her later years enjoyed working in Mental Health. Before her retirement she was the director of the Lenoir County Adult Mental Health Day Program that helped clients transition from inpatient to assisted and independent living. She also worked with pediatric mental health patients at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, N.C. Known for her compassionate heart and caring she will be remembered fondly by many.

The greatest joy of her life was her family. She was a devoted wife to her husband of over forty years, Edward. They created many happy memories together. She often said that the greatest love of her life were her daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was the best person any of us ever knew.  She would take us on little adventures and teach us all a love of nature. Her family will always remember her as a person of kindness, fairness and unconditional love for everyone including animals.  She was a role model for them by teaching the importance of spending time with loved ones, serving the needs of the community and appreciating the beauty of nature.  

She had many talents and interests including gardening, traveling, reading, the arts and fashion.  She knew the name of every encountered tree, shrub and flower lovingly taught by her grandmother. The highlights of her travels included Rome, Paris, London, New York and Key West, Fl. She had lifelong friends that she treasured, many of whom went back to her nursing school days. She will be forever missed but her influence in all our lives is immeasurable.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Edward Shackelford; her parents, Fred Whitaker Wallace and Mary Powell Wallace; and her brother, Neal Wallace.  She is survived by her four children, Laurel Shackelford Shepherd of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Diana Wallace Shackelford of Holly Springs, N.C.; Maria Shackelford Holjes (Meldon) of Newport News VA.; Lydia Shackelford Stewart (Gene) of Fayetteville, N.C.  Her grandchildren, Maria Elizabeth Millwee (Joel) of Aptos CA; Sarah Young Perkins (Jason) of Cary, N.C.; Anna Katherine Garzon of Virginia Beach, VA.; Nathaniel Wallace Holjes (Deborah) of Manassas, VA; Lydia Alexandra Stewart-Artz (David) and great grandchildren, Luke Joel and Reese Elizabeth Millwee, and Claire Marion Perkins.

A graveside service will be held at Westview Cemetery on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. for family and friends.  The Reverend Doug Stokes of Gordon Street Christian Church where she was a lifelong member will officiate. A memorial service will take place at a later date. 

Arrangements by Edwards Funeral Home & Cremations.  Online condolences may be expressed at