Dorothy T. Shackelford

July 26, 1933May 2, 2020

On May 2, 2020, Dorothy Leola Thompson Thomas Shackelford, aged 86 years, residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, peacefully slipped the bonds of life. Dorothy was born in Nashville, TN on July 26, 1933, the eldest child of Willie and Pauline Thompson. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Paul Thompson. She is survived by her sons, Courtland and Stephen Thomas; her granddaughter Amanda Patterson-Thomas and great grandson Cortland; her devoted sister, Grace Thompson Neely and brothers, William, Leslie, and David Thompson; and over 30 nieces and nephews. Her husbands, John W. Thomas and Arligues H. Shackelford preceded her in death, John in 2009 and Arligues in 2019.

Dorothy was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating from Pearl Senior High School in 1951. She attended Tennessee State A & I University, obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Science Education in 1967. She obtained her Master’s of Science in Education from the Duquesne University. Dorothy continued her education, obtaining a Master’s degree in Counseling Ministries from Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 1991.

A pioneering educator, Dorothy was the first African-American teacher in Gallatin, TN and Meadville, PA. She taught in the Pittsburgh and the Columbus Public Schools and helped develop two Christian schools: Bible-Way Christian Academy in Columbus, OH and Reid Temple Christian Academy in Glenn Dale, MD.

She served the needs of many as a Christian counselor. She was a member of Bibleway Church and Rhema Christian Center in Columbus, OH, St. John A.M.E. Church in Worthington, OH and Reid Temple AME Church in Glenn Dale, MD. A devout Christian, Dorothy, wove her appreciation of the blessings of Jesus Christ into every interaction of every day of her life, blessing untold lives along the way.

She experienced gradual cognitive decline in the last years of her life. The sweetest woman that many of us will ever know will be sorely missed. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be announced at a later date.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Dorothy T. Shackelford

have a memory or condolence to add?

suzi zelinski

May 23, 2020

So sorry to hear of Dorothy's passing.
She was such a delightful lady with a smile on her face.
She will be missed by us all.
Prayers and thoughts to the family.
Suzi Zelinski Paramount

May 21, 2020

Markette Hatch Columbus

May 20, 2020

Dear Family of Dorothy:

I was so sorry to hear of Dorothy's passing. I have very man fond memories that I will always cherish.
Please let me know when her memorial service will be.

God bless and strengthen you all.

May 13, 2020

Lanell Wade

May 6, 2020

Dorothy was a friendly person and no one was a stranger to her at St. Dominic's Women Retreat. She communicated well and always spoke her mind. She will be remember for smile and open mind on any topic. My condolences to Lady Grace Neely and her family. God bless you and your family because I am deeply saddened by your loss.

William Ligon

May 6, 2020

I was one of Mrs. Thomas' jr hi students at Gallatin Union High School in the early 60's...She was a delightful and enthusiastic teacher who was loved and respected by us all...I can see that she inspired many, of which I was one of the first...


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