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Shelton Rickott Francis was born in Johnson’s Point, Antigua, West Indies on October 10th, 1949 to Esther and Hezekiah Francis. He was the second of nine children.
As a young boy, Shelton and his family relocated to Old Road Village, Antigua where he attended Old Road Primary School and Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Growing up near the sea, Shelton enjoyed fishing and was an excellent swimmer.
He also loved to ride motorcycles, cook, and work with his hands. A true prodigy, Shelton was able to simply watch someone build something, and learn and apply the techniques with ease.
One day during his teenage years, Shelton walked past a young girl sitting under a tree. The girl was looking into a small mirror, combing her hair, when the glare from her mirror shined on Shelton. It was the dazzling light that initially caught his attention but her beauty captivated him forever.
Shelton approached her, asked her where she was from, and told her how beautiful she was. The girl’s name was Erma Johnson.
From that day onward, Shelton and Erma became great friends. However, they lost contact with each other for a few years when Shelton migrated to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to live with his mother. Coincidentally, in 1968, a few years after Shelton’s move, Erma traveled to St. Croix to visit her sister, and on a Saturday night, Shelton saw Erma again at a church party and later reconnected.
From then on, Shelton and Erma continued their friendship, and on November 29, 1970, they married in Frederiksted, St. Croix. A year later, they gave birth to a son, whom they named Tracy.
Not long after they wed, Shelton and Erma moved back to Antigua, where they had two more children, Travis and Trevor.
In 1978, Shelton migrated to the United States, where he lived in Staten Island, NY near his brothers, Edgar and Frank. From this move, two more children were born—Trenton and Trenel.
Hoping to start a fresh life in America, Shelton recommitted his life to God and was rebaptized with his wife at the Staten Island Seventh-day Adventist Church. There, he was an active member until his death, primarily serving as a Head Deacon but eager to do any post God sent him to.
Most notably, Shelton helped renovate his church building. From the bathrooms downstairs, to the commercial-style kitchen, to almost all of the church doors, Shelton spent countless days in his church putting his carpentry skills to use for God’s glory!
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