Mary Jo Shelton is not a Jackson native, but her heart for Jackson is evident. She was born in Cape Girardeau and graduated from Central High School in 1952.
“After marriage my husband’s occupation provided us with the opportunity to live in a number of locations. We made each place our home, as we became involved and volunteered and became part of the community.
“On returning to this area we were impressed with the school system and chose Jackson as our home. Our daughter, Jodie (Shelton) Herman, was starting junior high and was so excited to be chosen as a cheerleader since she was new in Jackson. She remained a cheerleader through her high school years.
Now retired, Shelton’s dedication to the town of Jackson has resulted in countless volunteer hours that have made her incredibly happy.
The beauty of the city with its old buildings still in use and lovely old homes that remain are what make Jackson special to her.
“We have such an inviting and friendly shopping area,” said Shelton.
Jackson in Bloom is Shelton’s favorite Jackson event. She said, “I am always so excited to purchase my spring plants grown by Jackson High School. They are so healthy and bloom beautifully.”
After retiring, Shelton signed up to volunteer at the Cape Girardeau County History Center when it was new.
“This has been one of the most satisfying and enjoyable choices I ever made. As I was one of the first docents, I have been involved in helping with the organizing and developing of the center.”
In 2016 Shelton became Cape Girardeau County History Center’s librarian.
The expansion of the center has led to more opportunities for Shelton to make connections and help others make connections.
“A new, free research library has recently been opened. The joy I have experienced with meeting new people, hearing their stories and seeing their collections has been exhilarating. Wonderful relationships have developed with our fabulous director, our many docents, our merchants and city officials.
“As Librarian for Cape Girardeau County Historical Society we are here to preserve and share County history,” said Shelton.