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Author Dr. Larry W. Sheffield Leaves Local Legacy

By Melissa Lawson
Community Writer
2017-02-09 at 11:38:33
COLTON>> Dr. Larry W. Sheffield, 77, Colton resident, local historian, lecturer, author of numerous articles and two books on local history, titled "Images of America: Colton," and "David Colton: Namesake of Colton, California," died peacefully Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 with family by his side near Sacramento. A native of Utah, Sheffield served in the United States Army and graduated from the University of Utah, earning a Bachelor of Science degree and a teaching certificate in history in 1963. In 1970, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa earning his master’s degree in social work. In 1981, he earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California Graduate Institute. Sheffield’s life and career involved service to others and sharing his passion for learning. He was a high school history teacher and a social worker in his native Utah. After moving to California in the early 1970s with his family, he worked for Inland Counties Regional Center until 1993 helping the developmentally disabled, the accused and incarcerated. He later served as Interim Director of Social Work at Loma Linda (La Sierra) University. An avid reader of historical biographies, Sheffield became involved in local history by joining the San Bernardino Historical Society. He wrote articles for the Society’s publication, “The Odyssey.” He also joined the Colton Area Museum Association where he continued to engage in independent historical research and write articles about local history for the Colton City News and the San Bernardino County Sun. His first book chronicled the story of Colton’s namesake, David Douty Colton. In 2004, while president of the Colton Area Museum Association, Sheffield authored a second book about Colton’s history for Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. Serving on the board of the Colton Area Museum Association, he forged many treasured friendships that endured for the rest of his life. Sheffield especially enjoyed spirited discussions about history and politics among friends. He was an intellectual with a broad appreciation of diversity, the arts and culture. Survivors include his daughters Melissa Lawson (Michael) of Fair Oaks, CA; Sara Sheffield of Upland, two grandchildren Lauren Pitman of Eastvale and Jacob Pitman of Sacramento; a sister, Carolyn Willard of Dallas, TX. Sheffield’s Celebration of Life will be Thursday, Feb. 16 at Hermosa Gardens Cemetery in the Mission Chapel in Colton at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Colton Area Museum Association and Historical Society (c/o Mike Murphy, president) P.O. Box 1648, Colton, CA 92324.
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