Shelby "John" VanMeter

Shelby VanMeter

On the morning of November 13th, 2015, Shelby “John” VanMeter passed away peacefully at his home in Algoa, Texas, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.  He was surrounded by his children and loved ones.  He was 86 years old.

John was born on December 5th, 1928 in Annetta, Kentucky to Virginia and James Hosea VanMeter.  He was one of 13 siblings.

He grew up on a tobacco farm in Grayson County, Kentucky. As a young man, he travelled to Houston, TX to follow a job offer.  It was there he met Shirley Ann Stupp and they were married five months later and had five children.  John worked construction in the Houston area for over fifty years and eventually retired at the age of 75.  Even though his roots were in Kentucky, he was proud to call himself a Texan.

John loved to fish.  On many a weekend, you could find him fishing at the Texas City Dike or along the shores of Galveston Bay.  He always told Shirley that he would quit fishing after he caught the “Big One”.  Several “Big One’s” later, he was still fishing.

The other love of his life was his family, and his wife, Shirley, which he shared 54 years of marriage.  John loved his grandchildren and shared a wonderful relationship with each of them.  And they all loved their “Papaw”.

John was special to all those that knew him.  He was a loving, warm, kind, and honorable man and treated everyone he met with decency and respect.  Shelby “John” VanMeter was a good man with a gentle soul.  That is how our beloved father will always be remembered.

John is preceded in death by wife, Shirley Stupp VanMeter, son, Michael Dale VanMeter, parents, Virginia and James VanMeter, and 10 siblings. 

John is survived by son, John David VanMeter and his wife Donna Marie; daughters, Pauline VanMeter, Shelby Ann VanMeter, and Cynthia Lee VanMeter; granddaughters, Emily Lueck, Rachelle VanMeter, Holly VanMeter Kressley, Jillyan VanMeter, and Jessy Yount; great-grandchildren, Ethan John, Falon, Hannah, Kaylee, Michael, Noah, and Elizabeth.  He is also survived by his two youngest brothers, Joe VanMeter and Carl VanMeter of Leitchfield, Kentucky, and many nieces, nephews and friends.

A Celebration of Life will follow his cremation on January 29th, 2016. The family will greet guests from 2-4 pm with a 3pm Memorial Service.

Special thanks to Vitas for all their help and support throughout this difficult time.  And thank you to Carnes Funeral Home for their kindness and patience.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your local food bank, to Pancreatic Cancer Research, or a charity of your choosing.