Evelyn Trent Walker Shaffron, 94, a resident of Angel Avenue Assisted Living in Teays Valley, WV, formerly of Gary, WV, passed away February 21.
Fondly known as Trent, she was born May 30, 1923, in Harmony, VA, the daughter of John L. and Maude Jackson Walker, who preceded her in death. She grew up in Alton, VA, was educated in the local Halifax County schools and was a 1940 graduate of Turbeville High School. With her father's encouragement to study music, after high school she enrolled in the St. Louis Institute of Music in St. Louis, MO, and studied piano with such eminent teachers as John Williams, John Thompson and John Schaum.
In 1943, she received an elementary teacher's certificate to teach piano and located to McDowell County, WV, to begin her music career. She soon had organized piano classes at Gary High School and Wilcoe Elementary School and met the love of her life, Andrew (Andy) Shaffron of Elbert. After he returned from service in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II, they were wed on June 8, 1946, in South Boston, VA. They were married for 52 years when Andy died in 1998 and resided with their family in Gary throughout their marriage. Trent relocated to Teays Valley in 2010.
Her triple lifestyle of homemaker, teacher and community leader evolved in Gary. She had a special talent for combining the things she loved and cherished - home and children, music, church, and country - and attributed her success in life to prayer and Divine guidance, leading her to give of herself, her time and talents for the benefit of others.
Trent enjoyed an over 60-year career as a private piano teacher and accompanist. She spoke proudly of her students, many of whom over the years pursued careers in music. When she wasn't playing the piano herself, she enjoyed listening to classical and popular music.
With her husband's service as a war veteran and his involvement in the American Legion, Trent became active in the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit 38 of Gary and her life's work embodied its motto - service not self - as well as the motto of the American Legion - for God and country. Her leadership spanned service as the president of the Gary unit for many terms; both president and vice president of the Fifth District of the ALA, serving southern West Virginia, and chairperson of all the major committee programs of the West Virginia Department of the ALA. Among her most rewarding experiences with the ALA were serving as chaplain of the West Virginia Department, arranging the annual Poppy Day sales, and organizing visits to and parties for veterans at the Beckley VA Medical Center. As an advocate for good citizenship and patriotism, she worked with high schools to nominate students to attend the annual West Virginia Girls State held at Jackson's Mill and was honored to serve as a counselor there.
She was a long-time member of Gary United Methodist Church and became enmeshed in its work. She and her husband believed that raising their five children with a firm foundation in Christian faith was one of their most important duties as parents. Over the years Trent was a leader and participant in practically every phase of church life from president of the United Methodist Women, circle leader, Bible study leader, committee chairperson, and Sunday School teacher. She also served as church organist, accompanist for the adult Chancel Choir and director of the children's Junior Choir.
She was also active in the Chaminade Music Club in Welch, serving as president for several years, and was a member of the Fine Arts Association. Attributing her green thumb to her mother, who was known for her bountiful vegetable gardens and her display of houseplants, including violets, Trent was also active in the Gary Garden Club.
She is survived by her five children: Janet Shaffron of Harwood, MD; Karen (Danny) Gilreath of Cross Lanes, WV; Debbie (Rich) Shellenback of Clifton Park, NY; Andrew (Ina) Shaffron Jr. of Kingsport, TN, and John (Belinda) Shaffron of Hurricane, WV. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Andrea Gilreath of Morgantown, WV; Christopher Gilreath and Kara Gilreath of Clarksburg, WV; Brian Shellenback, Emily Shellenback and Mary Shellenback of Clifton Park, NY; Leslie Shaffron of Morgantown, WV; Wesley Shaffron of Charlotte, NC; Keiren Shaffron of Hurricane, WV, and Erika Fletcher of Chesapeake, OH; great grandson Braxton Shaffron of Chapmanville, WV, and great granddaughter Halie Weberg of Cross Lanes, WV. She was preceded in death by grandson Jamie Shaffron.
Trent is also survived by her sister June Walker Moore of Alton, VA, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by brothers James O. Walker, Graham Walker and John Stanley Walker.
The family will receive visitors on Saturday, March 3, at 11 a.m. at Fanning Funeral Home in Welch, WV, with a celebration of life service at 12:30 p.m. officiated by the Rev. Michael Atkinson, pastor of St. John United Methodist Church, Scott Depot, WV. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Bluewell. Pallbearers will be Rich Shellenback, Brian Shellenback, Christopher Gilreath, Wesley Shaffron, Nick Shaffron, and Joey Hornick.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Legion Auxiliary Gary Unit 38, PO Box 35, Thorpe, WV 24888, or any organization serving veterans in the United States.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.fanningfuneralhomes.com
Fanning Funeral Home of Welch is serving the Shaffron Family.
Published on February 24, 2018