Mildred Rudene Preston | July 23, 1921 - November 4, 2023

November 16, 2023

On November 4, 2023, Mildred Rudene Blackwell Preston got her wings and went to walk with the angels. She was 102 years old. Born to Marion and Harriett Elizabeth Roye Shelton on July 23, 1921, in Jones County, TX, Rudene was one of 3 daughters and 5 sons born to the Shelton Family. She was a 1938 graduate of Stamford High School. Rudene’s claim to fame as a young entrepreneur came at the age of 5 years old, when she pulled her little red wagon around gathering chips for the wood cook stove, calling it “her first job.” Rudene was united in marriage to Claude Elmer Blackwell, Jr. in 1940. The Blackwell’s were blessed with a daughter, Gloria. Elmer preceded Rudene in death on March 14, 1961. Rudene entered the workforce and continued her education after being widowed. She entered nursing school at the old Stamford Sanatorium to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Rudene spent her working career in healthcare as an L.V.N. working at the Stamford Hospital, Hamlin Nursing Home, and Stamford Nursing Home. Rudene married Mr. W. C. Preston on June 15, 1985. W. C. preceded her in death on December 20, 2008. Rudene had a strong sense of right and wrong, she strived for perfection, while remaining humble. Rudene’s witty sense of humor, contagious smile, and sweet personality made her well-loved in her small town. However, this sweet lady had a competitive side to her when it came to sports. She loved to watch all sports and was very competitive in track, high jump, and basketball. Rudene always wanted to compete in full court basketball, as women do now.

Rudene and W.C. were members of the First Baptist Church where they sang in the senior choir. Rudene loved family and their family loved them and how entertaining and uplifting she and W.C. were at family gatherings. W.C. and Rudene took great pleasure in communing with nature on their camping trips in their RV. One of their favorite past times was watching the birds and deer. The name “Cackle” far exceeded any name Rudene had ever been known by when her grandchildren gave her this title! Preceding her in death were her parents, Marion and Elizabeth Shelton, 2 husbands: Elmer Blackwell and W. C. Preston, great grandson, Jaxon Humphrey, 2 sisters: Nina Allen and Lucille Bates, and 5 brothers: Alton Shelton, Odell Sheldon, Lowell Shelton, Willie D. Shelton and Otis Shelton. Rudene is lovingly survived by her daughter, Gloria Earles of Stamford, TX; 2 granddaughters, Pam Walker and husband Junior of Stamford, TX and Kathy Sue Earles of Abilene, TX; 3 great grandsons: Justin Humphrey, Dustin Humphrey, and Don Glass; 3 great grandchildren: Cambria Humphrey, Natalie Glass, and Jayton Humphrey; a host of other relatives and friends. Funeral Services were at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10 with Rev. Dan Stewart officiating. The family gathered for Visitation at the First Baptist Church from 1:00 pm till service time. Interment followed in Highland Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Tankersley Funeral Home. Condolences and memories may be shared at