Rhoton Funeral Home


Rutha (Baxter) Shackelford

April 4, 1932March 7, 2021
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Catholic Funeral Mass April 9 at 1 PM at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Farmers Branch Texas.

Celebration of life memorial April 9, 6 to 7:30 PM at Rhoton Funeral home in Carrollton. Face masks and social distancing please.

Rutha Rachel Shackelford was born to Thomas and Maude Baxter on April 4th, 1932 in Georgetown Texas. She married Jack Clifton Shackelford (deceased), December 2, 1953, and they had seven children: Mary Shackelford Mikeska, Susan Gay Shackelford, Monica Jean Otis, John Mark Shackelford, Stephen Eric Shackelford (deceased), Judy Ann Steckman and Donna Lynn Shackelford (deceased). She had 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren (soon to be 12).

Rutha grew up in San Antonio Texas and was the youngest daughter in a large family. As a young woman, she chose to become Catholic. Jack and Rutha settled in Farmers Branch on Rawhide Parkway and Rutha lived there for 54 years. She and the other ladies of Rawhide Parkway started a 4th of July block party, which over the years morphed into a city-wide tradition of gathering for a parade around the creek.

Family was everything to Rutha. She enjoyed singing, music, cooking, sewing, antiques, gardening, Texas history, and early Texas furniture. An excellent cook, her family always enjoyed the lavish spreads she prepared during the holidays. In her early married life, she was an outstanding seamstress who sewed many of her children’s clothes. Known by her grandchildren as Grandma Shack, she was always willing to lend a helping hand. She was a member of Mary Immaculate Church for over 60 years and her Catholic faith was an integral part of her life.

Self-educated in the field of antiques, Rutha opened a store called The Pioneer Shop in Farmers Branch. Later she decided to specialize in appraising antiques and holding estate sales. She was a member of the Antique Appraisal Association of America. She worked for the city of Farmers Branch as the inaugural Curator of Museums, and as such researched and purchased early Texas furniture for the Gilbert House Museum and the Dodson House.

She was involved in many civic organizations including Civic League of Farmers Branch, Farmers Branch American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, The Historical Preservation and Restoration Board of Farmers Branch, and the Peters Colony Historical Society. Rutha was a proud member of the Red Hat Society.

After suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for many years, Rutha went to heaven on March 7, 2021, with family by her side. She is in the arms of Jesus, in no pain and surrounded by her loved ones who went before her. She will be missed greatly and never forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Farmers Branch.


  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, April 9, 2021


Rutha (Baxter) Shackelford

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tim Geary

April 9, 2021

Aunt Rutha is my favorite aunt. Some of my most cherished memories of her occurred on our families visits to Texas. During the Christmas holiday I remember she would sing "O Holy Night" (a cappello), my mom (her sister) would rave how she had the voice of an angel. Now they are together in heaven .Aunt Rutha's legacy lives on through her beautiful children and grandchildren. We all love and will deeply miss her. God- Bless.

George Roland

April 9, 2021

I only had the pleasure of knowing Rutha for a short time, but during that time I learned from her family that she was so many things: a strong mother, a kind and funny grandmother, an archivist and student of local history, and so much more. And, to be certain, I am sure what I have learned of her barely scratches the surface of who Rutha was. Rutha, you are missed.

Mark Shackelford

March 30, 2021

Mom was such a strong and beautiful woman. One could see the happiness and love radiating from her. She always had a kind word and put the needs of her family above her own. This photo is from 1992.

Mom, I love you and miss you, but I know we will see each other again.

Your loving son,

Karen Shackelford - Meade

March 29, 2021

To my dear "Rawhide" cousins and your families, I am so saddened by this loss. Your mother was such a sweet, welcoming, fun and tolerant woman. Tolerant when all of us Shackelfords descended at once. Although in my memory she enjoyed it as much as anyone. Those days were so fun, so many kids, such good food, adventures over at the park and at night kids on pallets on the floors everywhere. Such precious memories. Sending prayers for comfort for each of you. Love to you all.

Vicki Winder

March 20, 2021

Monica and family, I'm so sorry to hear that Aunt Rutha passed away. She was a very special person in all of our lives. The dinners and get togethers on Rawhide were awesome and I still remember all of them. I apologize that I won't be able to share in her celebration of life but I pray for healing for the whole family during this time. God received a special angel. Love to all, Vicki

Judy Steckman

March 19, 2021

I am so thankful for every trip I took to come see you. Being so far away from home was hard, especially towards the end. You will forever remain in my heart until we meet again. XOXO, Judy Ann

Judy Shackelford

March 19, 2021

Rutha as a beautiful young girl. I love this photo, one of the few from her childhood. I love you momma, and will meet you on the other side. It comforts me to know you are in the arms of Jesus, surrounded by those you love.

Judy Shackelford

March 19, 2021

Mom was a veracious reader and loved history. Our refrigerator was covered with family photos, kids artwork and oftentimes a quote that resonated with her. Monica kept this and has it in her bedroom...quite fitting for this time of sorrow.


March 17, 2021

Jack Clifton Shackelford and wife Rutha Rachel Baxter Shackelford
On Rutha's lap is Stephen Eric with older sister Monica Jean next to him. Behind the young ones are John Mark, Susan Gay and the eldest child, Mary Jo.
Photo of the family 1965, before Judy Ann and Donna Lynn were born.


March 15, 2021

Mom had a great sense of humor, a lovely smile and beautiful eyes. This photo of her received the most likes one year on my FB feed.


Rutha Rachel Baxter Shackelford
April 4, 1932 - March 7, 2021


Rutha's family. The little girl on the far right is Rutha's mother, Maude Stovall.
From left to right, her great grandfather William Poole Stovall, her grandmother Artie Gertrude Cagle Stovall, her grandfather William Lemuel Stovall, 2 uncles and her mother, Maude.


Parents of Rutha--
Thomas Andrew Baxter Jr and wife Maude Willard Stovall Baxter,
Married Oct 8, 1913. Rutha was the 8th of 9 children & the youngest girl.
The story goes that the family was traveling along the San Gabriel River in Georgetown TX. Per her older brother Dan, "when you were born, we were pulling a trailer...on the river in Georgetown...had to get to the doctor at 1 in the morning. By the time you were three or four days old, we moved on"
The family settled in San Antonio TX.


Rutha Baxter, c.1933 or 1934, age 1-2


Rutha as a little girl.


Rutha - in her late teens.


"Ice Capades" drawing by Rutha , 1949, age 17


Rutha Rachel Baxter
Early in life, Rutha worked for at time at Fox Photo Studio (where film was developed)


Rutha age 20, c. 1952
Love this photo and halter dress. Rutha wore this dress for daughter Mary Jo's first birthday party.
Imagine the dark color was red and the lighter colors shades of gold.


Rutha c 1950 , working in NYC
What gumption she had to move to the Big Apple for 6 months.