John A. Shelburne of Roxbury, a distinguished student, an All America football player and for 30 years a social worker in his community, died Sunday. He was 83. Born in the West End, Mr. Shelburne was a member of the English High School class of 1914 where he took college preparatory courses after problems with typing discouraged him from taking business courses.
He graduated with honors and then attended Colby Academy in New London, N.H., for a year before entering Dartmouth college. Mr. Shelburne worked as a boys' social worker for 30 years at the Shaw House. During that period he also served as director of the Breezy Meadows Camp in Holliston. He retired 15 years ago.
Late in his career he was honored by having the John A. Shelburne recreation Center on Washington street named for him. In 1964, New England College in Henniker, N.H., awarded Mr. Shelburne an honorary doctor of human letters degree.
Husband of the late Grace Jubrey, Mr. Shelburne leaves a son, John A. Shelburne Jr. of East Providence, R.I.,; a daughter, Florence Jones of Milton; a brother, Richard Shelburne of Detroit; six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Johnson Funeral Home, Warren street, Roxbury. Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery.