10 Years Later: Jennifer Shelton on Jeff Shelton’s Legacy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jennifer Shelton says her husband Jeff’s legacy can be explained in one, simple word: love. Jeff showed it through his service. Jennifer tells WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty, “Jeff never knew a stranger. At work, or at home, in his personal life. He talked to everybody. (He) wanted to. ‘How can I help? What’s going on?’ I know the kinda things he would come home, and take back to work, people that needed something that he knew he could help them with. Take food back. Clothes back. Dog food back for homeless people that he met who had pets. He would feed them both.”

There was one particular show of love, on the day of Jeff’s funeral n April 2007, that touched Jennifer deeply. She says, as the tears begin to flow, “I do remember, on the way to the cemetery from the church, looking out at all the people that lined the streets with their dogs.” She continues, “Because one of the big things about Jeff, if you knew him, if you met him, if you were the person at Starbucks that he got his coffee from every night, the first thing he’d do is pull out his phone and show you a picture of Cody, our dog.”

Jennifer wears a silver band on her wrist, that bears Jeff’s name and the date of his end of watch. Fogarty asked, “What would be your one wish, that this community takes away on the ten year anniversary mark?” She replied, “My wish would be that their legacy at ten years, at 15 years, at 20 years, is just as strong as when the community was lining the streets with flags and signs and everything else, because that just showed what kind of men they were, and what kind of impact they had.”

And, of course, this: “Love is what it’s gonna take to heal everything. I think that’s what helped heal this community ten years ago, I think the love that was spread is what helped families get through.” Jennifer continues, “Love is, it’s the only thing that’s gonna heal. And it’s the only thing that you can help spread.”