Cover photo for Richard L. Shelly's Obituary
Richard L. Shelly Profile Photo
1947 Richard 2023

Richard L. Shelly

December 6, 1947 — January 24, 2023

Livestream of Funeral Service

Richard Lynn Butts Shelly, age 75, passed away Tuesday morning, January 24, 2023, while under hospice care at his daughter's home in Byhalia, MS with his family by his side.

Funeral services for Richard will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 27, 2023 in the Martin Willingham Memorial Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with visitation beginning one hour prior to the service. The interment will follow the funeral at Forrest Memorial Park with military honors. 

Richard was born December 6, 1947 in Water Valley, MS to the late Leonard Butts and Dorothy Faye Gean Shelly. After graduating from Whtehaven High School in 1965, he enlisted in the army where he was an MP from 1966-1968 in Korea and in Germany from 1969-1970. Richard was married to Constance Houghtelling from 1968-2003 and during this marriage they had two daughters, Melanie and Stephanie. Richard always had a desire to be a Memphis Police Officer but the class was already full. He was then hired as a casual for Bowman Transportation and was later hired permanently. His family moved to Water Valley, MS where he was employed by Motts. In the year 1989 he started his dream job working for and being mentored by Brownie Crawford with Crawford and Company. He later retired from there in September 2016. At the time of his death Richard was married to Joanie Marie Lee for 20 years and resided in Batesville, MS. Richard devoted his time to his two passions, golf and Tennessee football.

He was preceded in death by his parents Leonard Butts and Dorothy Faye Gean Shelly, his stepmother, Betty Butts, and his step-son, Shane Lee.

Survivors include his wife, Joanie, two daughters, Melanie Upton (Isaiah), of Byhalia, MS and Stephanie Shelly, of Crump, TN, two stepchildren, Tommy Hines (Taghreed), of Indianapolis, IN and Stacie Fitch (Jeff), of Hernando, MS, three grandchildren, Kayla Turner (Jeremy), of Byhalia, MS, Taylor Upton (Brandon), of Byhalia, MS, and Madison Upton, of Byhalia, MS, seven step-grandchildren, Landon Fitch (Michaela), of Hernando, MS, Cassidy Fitch, of Hernando, MS, Kara Fitch of Hernando, MS, Daltin Lee, of Batesville, MS, Corey Hines, Isabella Hines, and Zachary Hines, all of Indianapolis, IN; three great-grandchildren, Kallie, Ryder, and Hudson; and his step father, Clyde Shelly.

Also surviving is his sister, Donna McGowan, of Monroe, GA, his niece Lea Smithson (Rob), of Monroe, GA, and two great-nephews, Ryan Smithson and Evan Smithson, both of Monroe, GA.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.




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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 27, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, January 27, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Friday, January 27, 2023

Starts at 12:30 pm (Central time)

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