A memory walk and casual, social gathering to celebrate the life of Robert Shelton will be held on Saturday, January 28th from 12:30 to 2:30PM at the Environmental Nature Center (ENC), 1601 E. 16th Street, Newport Beach. A 59 year resident of Corona del Mar, Robert passed away in November at the age of 93.
Barbara Shelton, wife of Robert, and his three children, Peter, Wendy and Tom Shelton invite all interested friends and colleagues to attend. Refreshments will be served. (Rain or shine; flat shoes recommended). Please RSVP to RobertSheltonMemorial@gmail.com. Photos and comments for the memory walk are also welcome and can be emailed to the same address.
Following the resignation of John J. Sailors, the first City Manager of Newport Beach, a young, 32 year old Robert Shelton was the City Council’s “unanimous choice out of a list of sixty applicants” to fill the empty position, according to Dora Hill, the 1956 Mayor. He was extremely qualified having served as Administrative Officer in the city of Santa Barbara for 2 years prior, a field representative of the County Supervisors Association of California and Assistant City Manager and Personnel Officer of Modesto. He worked on studies and reports for the Hoover Commission in Washington D.C and was co-author of “California State Government – A Guide to its Organization and Functions”.
Robert also received 2 years of Navy V-12 Officer Training and served as an Ensign with the US Navy Reserve in the Pacific Fleet’s Amphibious Forces from 1944-45. After his World War II service, he completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Pomona College and U.C. Berkeley.
In addition to serving as Newport’s second City Manager, Robert was also a member of the Newport Beach City Council from 1965 to 1970. He was Sr. Vice President, Government Relations, at the Irvine Company for 10 years and then a consultant to that company and others for many years to follow. He was instrumental in the negotiations that created Topanga Canyon and Crystal Cove State Parks and the Upper Newport Bay Reserve.
On top of being a great father and husband, Robert was also an avid volunteer for many local organizations including United Way, South Coast Rep, Hoag Hospital, and the Environmental Nature Center.
In 1980, he was humbled by his recognition as Citizen of the Year, by the City of Newport Beach.