James's Story

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Southwest Virginia lost the beloved local Bluegrass legend, James "Shelby" Jewell Saturday, June 17, 2017 from the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease. A lifelong resident of Whitewood, Virginia, Shelby dedicated his many talents to traditional bluegrass music, founding The Bluegrass Kinsmen more than 40 years ago. He received "The Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Tazewell County Fiddlers Convention in 2005, as well as the Southwest Virginia Community College's "Cultural Ambassador Award for Bluegrass Excellence" along with his band in 2011. He helped launch the careers of many musicians including Wayne Taylor, Darrell Webb, Robert Hale and Jeff Brown. Shelby further served his community during a 3 decade career as an insurance agent and manager with People's and Monumental Life Insurance companies. Along with Bluegrass music, he also enjoyed fishing, hunting and telling stories of his much loved mountains and their people. Among his most cherished times were those spent with his family.
The son of the late Elbert C. Jewell and Agnes M. Brown Jewell, both of Whitewood, Virginia, Shelby was preceded in death by infant sister, Lenore Ann Jewell and sister, Melba Sue Jewell Messick.
Shelby is survived by his loving wife and devoted caretaker, Jo Ann Russ Jewell, along with daughter, Rhonda J. Mullins and son-in-law, Louie B. Mullins of Honaker Virginia. He was the proud poppaw of three granddaughters: Leigh Ann Mullins of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Ashley D. Mullins Nichols and spouse, Jerrica N. Nichols of Abingdon, Maryland, Billee Jo Mullins Honaker and spouse, David L. Honaker of Honaker, Virginia; adored great-grandchildren, Kenleigh and Kainyn Barnhart and Levi Coltyn and Tayler Honaker. Also surviving are sister, Greta "Kay" Jewell McPeak and spouse, Clifton, brother, Ronnie "Dale" Jewell and spouse, Charlotte, brother, Elbert "Ebby" Jewell Jr. and spouse, Teresa; Special Aunt, Ruby J. Fuller Keen and spouse, Randolph; along with nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends.
The family would like to convey a special thanks to Commonwealth Memory Care and Legacy Hospice for all their help and kindness during Shelby's illness.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2 PM Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in the Singleton Funeral Service Chapel in Cedar Bluff, Virginia with Pastor Jim Fuller officiating. Pallbearers will be cousins, Michael Cline Harold Cole, Roger Cole, Nick Deskins, Howie Fuller, Henry Jewell, Marcus Jewell, and Roy Jewell. Honorary Pallbearers will be cousins, Lowell Cole, Allen Deskins, Eddie Deskins, Junior Deskins, Wayne Deskins, Buddy Fuller, Bernard Jewell, Charles Jewell, & Lee Schilling. Interment will follow at Greenhills Memory Gardens, Claypool Hill, Virginia.
The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 PM Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at Singleton Funeral Service, Cedar Bluff, Virginia.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.SingletonFuneralService.com.
Singleton Funeral Service is serving the Jewell family.
Published on June 19, 2017
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