October Festival Guide

Patriotic, optimistic 107-year-old likely casts ballot for final time

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Virginia Shelton, 107, has voted in several presidential elections, but she knows this may be her last.

Born in Hanover County in 1905, Shelton has lived through a depression, countless wars and the heartache of segregation. Despite the challenges she’s faced in life, her family says she’s remained a positive and patriotic person.

“One thing she says is love people whether they love you or not,” Shelton’s granddaughter, Antoinette Smith, said.

Shelton says she’s been blessed with years of health, four children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great grandchildren.

“All our family members have been educated,” Smith said. “That’s really important to her and to her family.”

When Shelton was born, Theodore Roosevelt was president of the United States. In all of her years, Shelton says she had not met a president until she shook hands with President Obama in 2010 when he came to Richmond.

“I have a picture with him,” Shelton said, as she smiled and glanced at the picture on Tuesday, before traveling with her granddaughter to her polling location in Ashland.

While she hopes she can live to cast her vote again in 2016, she says she’s not holding her breath.

“I’m surprised I can vote now,” Shelton laughed.

She says she’s proud to be an American and hopes her strength will be passed down to future generations.

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