ALPHARETTA Dr. J. Paul Shelton, 87, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, at Providence House.Paul was born on Feb. 11, 1925, in Rome, Ga. He grew up in the St. Elmo neighborhood of Chattanooga Paul flew 73 combat missions as a navigator-bombardier on B-25 medium bombers during World War II. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism above and beyond the call of duty. He was also awarded the Air Medal, with Oak Leaf Cluster, and Campaign Awards including the Asiatic Theater Medal, with three Bronze Stars (China, India and Burma), the American Theater Medal and the Victory Medal.Paul married his childhood sweetheart, Jean Dowbiggin, seven days after his return to Chattanooga at the end of the War. Paul returned to school to become a dentist and subsequently served a tour in the Air Force Medical Corps during the Korean Conflict, attaining the rank of Lt. Colonel. In 1955 Jean and Paul realized their childhood dream when Paul opened a private dental practice in the greater West Palm Beach, Fla. area. Over the next 35 years they built a successful practice, raised a family, and gave back to the community and the dental profession. In 1973 Paul was recognized as the "Dentist of the Year" by the Florida Dental Association for his work to pass legislation to permit expanded duties for dental assistants. He also worked with the Florida Junior College System to develop educational and certification programs for dental assistants, dental laboratory technicians, and dental hygienists. He was a Life Member of the American Dental Association and a Fellow in the International College of Dentists. Throughout his career, he was active in a plethora of professional, community, and church-related service activities. Dr. Shelton retired from practice in 1990.In 1993 Paul and Jean moved to the Indian River Colony Club Retirement Community in Melbourne Fla. Here they enjoyed an array of activities and made many new friends. After Jeans death in 2008, Paul moved to the greater Atlanta area to be close to his daughter, Paula Robin. For the past two years Paul lived at Providence House in Alpharetta, Ga.Dr. Shelton was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Jean Dowbiggin Shelton; his daughter, Dr. Charlotte Shelton White, Tallahassee, Fla.; his brother-in-law, Lyle Dowbiggin, Knoxville; his brother-in-law, Rowland and sister-in-law, Charlotte Dunbar, Chattanooga; and parents, Paul and Lucille Shelton, of Chattanooga.He is survived by his children Stephen and wife, Cynthia Shelton, Albuquerque, N.M., Paula and husband, David Robin, Marietta, Ga.; son-in-law, Wade D. White, Tallahassee Fla.; grandchildren, Paige and husband, Michael Davies, Portland, Ore., Sandra and husband Christopher Cardon, Boise, Idaho, Ashley and husband, Patrick Sullivan, Portland, Ore., Benjamin and Megan White, Tallahassee, Fla., Christina and Stephen Robin, Marietta, Ga.; great-granddaughters, Jordyn and Harper Davies, Portland, Ore., and Andrea and Elena Cardon, Boise, Idaho; his sister, Nancy Shelton McDaniel and husband, Harold, Chattanooga; and his sister-in-law, Doris Dowbiggin, Knoxville.A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2013, at Chestnut Ridge Church, 2663 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 30062.Internment will follow at 3 p.m. in Forest Hills Cemetery in Chattanooga.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Chestnut Ridge Christian Church or Halcyon Hospice Foundation, 1435 Haw Creek Circle, E Ste 402, Cumming, GA 30041.