Karl David Shelton


Karl David Shelton, 83, of Bar Harbor and Palmetto, Fla., passed away on April 9, 2018, ending his battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife of 21 years, Rebecca Shelton; his daughter and son-in-law, Anne Shelton Micci and Robert Micci; son and daughter-in-law, Steven David Shelton and Brenda Sue Shelton; daughter and son-in-law Audrey Shelton Minutolo-Le and Brian Le; and seven grandchildren, Jamie Richardson, Kyle Richardson, Joshua Shelton, Christopher Shelton, Sarah Shelton, Serena Minutolo-Swanson and Caitlin Minutolo-Murphy. He also leaves behind three great-grandchildren, Thatcher, Walker and Lila, who brought him great joy. His wife, family, friends and neighbors remained by his side during the last days of his life.

David, also known as K.D., was born in Philadelphia on Jan. 17, 1935. His mother, Paula Riek, emigrated from Crailsheim, Germany, in 1929 and met David Llewelyn Shelton in 1933 while working at the Dorrance estates in Bar Harbor and Philadelphia. The couple married and, after young David’s birth, settled in Bar Harbor in the spring of 1935.

As a boy, young Karl David served as an altar boy at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church and caddied at Kebo Valley Golf Course. He attended Bar Harbor High School, where he wrote for the school newspaper, played in the school band and co-captained the football team.

Karl David attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1953-1955 and served in the U.S. Navy as a Navy Band member and a teletype operator on the U.S.S. Barton in the Mediterranean Sea from 1956-57.

On March 31, 1957, Karl David married Esperance Allison Thatcher (Shelton) at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Southwest Harbor, officiated by Allison’s father, Rev. Robins Herbert Thatcher. Together, David and Allison had three children: Anne, Steven and Audrey. During the summers, Dave managed to balance work, family, hobbies, vegetable gardens and playing tuba for the Bar Harbor town band on Thursday nights. His caring nature was evident in his family, his home, music and community.

Dave’s career marked a varied and successful part of his life. After working for the family business, Shelton Brothers, he created Aqualand on Frenchman Bay at the head of Mount Desert Island, where Dave and Allison cared for eight seals and other wildlife. Dave’s career led him back to Shelton Brothers as the new owner for several years. In 1978, he struck out on his own again and moved the family to Sarasota, Fla., where he bought a graphics and signage company, Display Concepts. Display Concepts eventually moved back to Maine and received a U.S. Patent as well the 1999 Maine Business of the Year Award with recognition at the State Capitol with then-Governor Angus King.

Throughout his long and wonderful life, David loved the outdoors — boating, nature walks, and golfing with his son and grandsons. He lived with his wife Rebecca in Bradenton and Palmetto, Fla., for more than 20 years, where the couple enjoyed reading, gardening, listening to classical music and outings along the Gulf Coast.

Dave touched everyone he met with his kindness, wit and philosophical approach to life; he was fascinated by the vast expanse of the Universe and humanity’s place within it.

A celebration of his life will be held on May 19, 2018.

Know when to pay your respects.