Howard Lathon Shackleford, 80, of Ridgeland, Mississippi, entered into his eternal home with his Lord and Savior on August 12, 2023. He was born on May 8, 1943, in Indianola, Mississippi to James Paris Shackleford and Ella Lee Walters. He is preceded in death by his parents and his three brothers, James Lee Shackleford, William Carl Shackleford, and Henry Austin Shackleford. Six days shy of four years to the day, Howard was preceded in death by his beloved wife, and greatly missed companion, Elsie Marlene “Molly” Shackleford.
Howard grew up in the Mississippi Delta in the community of Delta City and attended school at Anguilla. In 1962, he graduated from Anguilla High School. He later pursued higher education at Nashville College for Diesel Mechanics. After his education, Howard enlisted and served in the Army National Guard, where he acquired valuable military skills.
Following his military service, Howard returned home to the Delta where he began courting the love of his life. On June 20, 1969, Howard married the beautiful Molly Chaney at Delta City Baptist Church. For the next fifty years, Howard and Molly were inseparable. Some of the things that they enjoyed together were attending and serving in church, dinners and gatherings with family and friends, and camping at Askew’s Landing in Edwards.
After Howard and Molly moved to Ridgeland, he embarked on a successful career as a mechanic. His automobile career took him to Harreld Chevrolet, Boyce Ford, Fowler Buick and Gray-Daniels Automotive Group, where he honed his expertise and took pride in making a significant impact daily in the automotive industry.
Howard found solace and strength in his faith. As one of the charter members of Trace Ridge Baptist Church in Ridgeland, Howard was dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He served in leadership roles including being named a Deacon and teaching Sunday School. He and Molly especially loved sharing the Gospel to children and youth and were an active part of years of service committed to Vacation Bible School. In their later years, Howard and Molly enjoyed fellowship at Old Rice Road Baptist Church where, again, they each were a vital part of the ministry. Howard found joy in ministering to the sick and bed bound community, and he spent hours listening, sharing, and counseling those in need.
While no children were ever born to Howard and Molly, they were blessed to have enjoyed a life filled with the goodness of the miracle of life by purposely and intentionally being mentors of countless children and youth. Howard was considered a jokester and enjoyed playing pranks on the unsuspecting ones. He was affectionately known as “Uncle Howard,” “Uncle Monkey,” “Uncle Monk,” and also, “Pawpaw Howard.”
Howard will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to his profession and his dedication to his family and community. He leaves behind a legacy of hard work, integrity, and kindness. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Howard is survived by his sister, Elva Jean Shackleford, one brother-in-law, Robert Chaney; four sisters-in law, Frances Luker, Romie Ferguson, Virginia Chaney, and Sherry Chaney. Howard is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at Old Rice Road Baptist Church in Madison, Mississippi on Saturday, August 19 from 9 - 10a.m. followed by a Celebration of Life service at 10a.m. Reverend Nick Smith and Reverend Jack DeMoney are officiating. Burial will be at Lakewood Memorial Park in Jackson, Mississippi. Pallbearers are John Williams, Shayne Williams, Daryl Hajj, Trey Chaney, Brent Chaney, Dee Ferguson, Jeff Rhodes, and Dallas Williams.
The family wishes to thank Ridgeland Place, Brandon Nursing and Rehab, and Compassus Hospice Care for their loving care and kind service. Memorial donations may be made to either Old Rice Road Baptist Church, 82 Old Rice Road, Madison, MS 39110; or Delta City Baptist Church, Post Office Box 119, Delta City, MS 39061.