Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Cliff Shelby (Earl Clifton Shelby, II), 75


Cliff Shelby (Earl Clifton Shelby, II)

Cliff left this party we call life, January 21, 2017. He was 75 1/2 years old, born June 7, 1941 – 6 months to the day when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. But he wasn’t there when it happened.

The light and air on this planet will forever feel different without him. Loved and admired by many, his cartoons, paintings, artwork, stories and antics will forever live on. He will be missed my many.

Cliff always looked at the world differently, especially the outdoors. Some folks might even say from the bottom up…Sometimes it was from the bottom of a cold river with his waders full of water, or from a creek bottom in his overturned canoe. Other times while doing a “one-legger” down to the deep bottom of a moose track in a swampy lake in Canada. He saw things with a humorous flair and drew cartoons about outdoor people and things.

A longtime resident of Flippin Arkansas, Cliff spent his professional life working in advertising and public relations. Following a tour of duty in the US Air Force Strategic Air Command, he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and later received a BS degree from Louisiana Tech University in illustration and advertising design with a marketing minor.

He was well known for his “Harry ‘N’ Charlie” cartoons in BASSMASTER magazine (1971 to 2010.) As a writer, photographer and illustrator,  he handled award winning advertising and product photography as well as outdoor press relations for both Bagley Bait Company and Ranger Boat Company.

He was a past president of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA), and Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), a Cornerstone Corporate Member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and Corporate Member of Western Outdoor Writers (WOW). He was also Charter Chairman of the Board for the Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation of America (OJEFA).

Cliff and his computer graphic designer wife, Karen, have worked from their home office since 2000 and recently moved to Maumelle, Arkansas.

He leaves behind, his wife Karen, daughter, Shea (Shelby) Smalling (husband Alex, sons, Tanner, Grayson and Reed), son Blake Shelby (wife Olivia, daughters Sydney and Cassidy), stepson Levi Smelser (wife Anna, son William), a loving extended family, many friends and coworkers in the outdoor industry and his devoted pets.

A casual drop-in gathering will be held as his home in Maumelle. Saturday, January 28 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, caregivers, friends and relatives are invited.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076. 501-982-3400


  • Mark Johnson Posted January 23, 2017 9:41 PM

    Sorry for your loss Karen.

  • Levi, Anna, & William Smelser Posted January 23, 2017 9:57 PM

    Fly high Cliff, you will be missed we love you. Don’t worry we will make sure William remembers his Popi as he grows up.

  • Coy and Diana Jackson Posted January 23, 2017 11:18 PM

    Karen I we’re so sorry for your loss! I hope God keeps you guys well and at peace through this devastating loss God bless you that Jackson’s

  • Martha Gill Posted January 24, 2017 2:40 AM

    I always wished that I had known gotten to know my cousin Cliff better.

    • Martha Gill Posted January 24, 2017 2:43 AM

      Thinking of family with love and prayers.

  • Pearl Briggs-Norcross Posted January 24, 2017 8:45 AM

    Prayers for his family for strength and peace.

  • Mildred Stewart Posted January 24, 2017 11:01 AM

    So sorry to hear of your loss Karen, the
    Picture and poem Cliff wrote for me when I retired is hanging in my sunroom and will always hold a special place in my heart! He was a great caring guy. God’s blessings on you and your family.

  • Robbie Moore Posted January 24, 2017 2:03 PM

    Karen thoughts and prayers for you and the family sorry for your loss!

  • George Kramer Posted January 24, 2017 4:06 PM

    Even those of us on the West Coast have enjoyed and revered the work and life of Cliff Shelby. So glad I was able to share time with him while covering the Classic over the years. Peace to his family.

  • Dennis & Emma Graves Posted January 24, 2017 5:14 PM

    Karen, we are so sorry for your loss. Cliff was such an interesting person and had so many stories that we both enjoyed. He will be missed.

  • Hank Dempsey Posted January 24, 2017 6:07 PM

    –May God rest the soul of Cliff — a beacon of good humor, class and graciousness

  • Joe B Wharton Posted January 24, 2017 7:50 PM

    I remember Cliff making his first flint lock long gun…..and how much trouble we got into from time to time……I know Paul Abdul remembers what we did to him funny now….I was always proud when I saw or heard something about Cliff, I know he was truly a unique individual.. Blessing’s to his family and friends.

  • Sharon Milligan Posted January 25, 2017 4:27 AM

    Karen, so sorry to read this. So sorry for this sad time in your life. My thoughts are with you.

  • Suzanne Ramsel Posted January 25, 2017 6:51 AM

    Karen even though I was never able to meet Cliff your stories of love about him are never ending. You had so much admiration for him and how he touched the lives of others with all of his talents. You two had, and still have a beautiful thing together and always will with your wonderful memories My prayers and thoughts are with you

  • Dave Crenshaw Posted January 25, 2017 5:29 PM

    Karen, I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Randy and Cheryl Zeigler Posted January 26, 2017 9:29 PM

    Condolences to the family, Cliff was one of a kind and will be missed.

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