George Kelton


George Moore Kelton died Nov. 24, 2015.

He was born in Madison County on Aug. 5, 1920 to Peter Curtis Jr. and Vernon Kelton.

After completion of high school in Madisonville, Kelton came to Odessa in June 1936, where he worked for Black, Sivalls & Bryson Inc. during summers and school vacations while attending Texas Technological College where he graduated in 1941. He entered law school in September 1941 at the University of Texas, but enlisted in the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor and served in 15th Air Force in Italy from December 1943 until October 1945. During this service he was awarded the European, African and Middle Eastern Theater of Operations ribbons, 10 bronze service stars; Distinguished Unit Badge with three Oak Leaf Clusters; American Theater campaign ribbon and the Victory Medal. He was discharged as a captain.

After returning from the service Kelton married Wilma Floride Parrish on Feb. 15, 1946. She preceded him in death on Sept. 30, 1971. They had one child, Mrs. Beth Mery of Humble.

Kelton completed law school after returning from the service and commenced the practice of law in Odessa in 1947, where he practiced until retirement, with the exception of the year 1969, when he served as Assistant Attorney General. He served two elective terms as County Attorney and two elective terms as Judge of the 161st District Court. He served as a visiting judge in various courts around the state until he retired. Kelton served in the various offices of the Ector County Bar Association, including that of president, and as a member of a State Bar Committee to revise the penal code of Texas. He served as a member of the Rules Committee of the National Conference of State Trial Judges. He helped to found the Presidential Museum in 1965 and was district vice chairman, Buffalo Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America during that year. At various times he was a member of professional organizations such as Association of Trial Lawyer of America and the Law-Science Academy of America, as well as various civic organizations.

Kelton was a member of the First Baptist Church in Odessa, Sons of the Republic of Texas; Sons of the American Revolution, and life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and Masonic Lodge.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Henry Lee Kelton; two sisters, Mary Riddle and Annie Laura Scott; and a stepson, Johnny Branch.

Survivors inlcud his wife, Ouida; a daughter, Beth Mery, and husband, Fred; two grandchildren, Jeff and Robert, and their wives, Wendy and Becky; three great-grandchildren, Cooper, Jaxon, and Skyler, and three stepchildren, Aleta Lawyer, Mickey Branch and Kenneth Branch and their wives, Vicky and Roberta; one sister, Ruth Taylor; and various nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Monday, Nov. 30, at Frank W. Wilson Funeral Chapel. Burial followed at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Frank W. Wilson Funeral Directors of Odessa handled arrangements.