Leon's Life Journey
A Time To Be Born And Learn
Leon Ulysses Shorter was the fourth child born, to the late Curlee Shorter, Sr. and Earline Woods Shorter, May 9, 1951, in Pine Bluff, AR. He attended Elementary and High School in the Townsend Park School District (now Pine Bluff School District) where he was on the Track Team. At the age of 19 he married Ruby Jewel Wiley-Shorter and to that union one child, Timothy Shorter, Sr. was born. They moved to Detroit, MI to live near his oldest brother/sister- in-law (RIP) Curlee Shorter, Jr. & Phyllis Stewart-Shorter. They later moved to Milwaukee, WI, and his first cousin Louise Morton acted as his second mother, helping to babysit Timothy. On April 6, 1996, Leon married his current wife of 27 years, Lavenia Sowell - Shorter. To that union two children were born, Tashina Shorter - Robinson and Bianca Shorter – Jackson. Lavenia was already a mother of three beautiful girls: Adrienne, Evette and LaKisha Myles. Together, Leon and Lavenia lovingly helped raise their blended family with Timothy, Steve, Clarice and Maurice. Lavenia was instrumental in all the children graduating high school and beyond.
A Time To Be Reborn
Leon accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Kings Highway MB Church in Pine Bluff, AR by Rev. J. L. Lawson. While in Milwaukee he attended New Testament Church of Milwaukee under the leadership of Pastor/Teacher, Julius R Malone. Leon loved the Lord and made sure that his children learned about God and encouraged they have a relationship with God.
A Time To Plant, And Nurture
Leon worked for Allied Van Lines and Mayflower Moving Co., A O Smith, Grion Foundry - Briggs & Straton, Ace Chemicals and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. In his youth Leon was known for his dressing and dancing skills. He would often sneak out of the house to win the neighborhood dance contest only to find his dad waiting with the belt when he returned. Leon’s track skill came in handy as he outran the Game warden, a Truancy Agent and an Indian when they caught him fishing without a license and skipping school. They only learned who he was because his buddies disclosed his whereabouts. His dad affectionately like called him “Legs” because of his height. The family home “2109” came to life on his many trips back home as all his friends on the Northside came to visit. He and Lavenia made sure their children knew and loved their grandparents. Leon never forgot where he came from. His favorite foods were oatmeal for breakfast and banana pudding for dessert. His favorite pastime was watching Gunsmoke or any western.
Leon had an intense love for his children. He would talk on the phone with his daughters for hours giving advice, sharing memories, and having fun joking around. He wanted them to love each other, always be there for each other and to stay united. He never used the term “stepchild” and made sure that his children simply considered each other as brothers and sisters. There were no conversations of half or step in his presence. These family values he learned from his parents and were strongly stressed by his mother.
Leon was seen as a giant among men because of his 6’7” physical stature. However, he was looked up to by many in the family and the community because he was such a gentle giant that always tried to help others. If you needed him, and he was able, he always did his part to help others. His wife and children admired his strong work ethic. He taught his sons the value of hard, honest work, often taking them with him to do moving and construction jobs. Leon continued working until his health failed him. His son and daughter, Maurice and Clarice, were his primary caregivers during his later years.
A Time to Die
On Sunday, August 13, 2023, Leon answered the call of his Lord and Savior at Glendale Care and Rehabilitation in Milwaukee, WI. He joined his loving parents; his oldest child: Timothy Shorter, Sr.; 1 granddaughter: Shanaria Wilson; 4 siblings: Curlee Shorter, Jr., Robert Shorter, Carolyn Shorter Bennett and Rev. Earl Carl Shorter. Mother-in-law: Jeannette Wooten. Paternal Grandparents: Emmitt Shorter, Sr., Ulysses Stewart & Lucy Robinson Shorter Stewart; Maternal Grandparents: Walter & Ardelia Whyteman Woods and Ideary & Gussie Gaddy Stewart.
A Time to Honor the Legacy
Leon leaves to cherish his life memories, his loving wife of 27 years, Lavenia Sowell Shorter. 2 Sons – Steven Wilson, Sr. and Maurice Shorter of Milwaukee, WI; 8 daughters – Monica Meadors-Shorter (Killeen, TX), Adrienne LaShon Chappel (James), Evette (Tia) Myles, Clarice Shorter – Erkins (Paul), LaKisha Hayden, and TazMia Dodd all of Milwaukee, WI; Tashina Shorter – Robinson (Keith) (Ft. Worth, TX) and Bianca Shorter – Jackson (Gary Jr.) (Irving, TX). And daughter-in-law; Yolanda Wilborn-Shorter (Timothy-RIP) (Mansfield, TX). 4 brothers: Walter James Shorter, Sr. (Pine Bluff, AR), Curtis Jerome Shorter, Sr. (Dallas, TX), Nathaniel Shorter (Heidi) (Tacoma, WA) and William Jeffery Shorter, Sr. (Washington, DC); four sisters – Corlis Shorter Fitzpatrick (Herbert)(Red Oak, TX), Ella Shorter (Dallas, TX), Jacqueline Shorter - Blackwell and Stephanie LaNae Shorter - O’Bryant (Maurice) (Pine Bluff, AR); 36 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren who love and cherish his memory. A host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends will also miss him.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a timeto pluck up that which is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2