10/21/2010 5:33PM

Lloyd Shelhamer Jr. dead at age 87


Lloyd Shelhamer Jr., the founder of United Tote Company and a former owner of Sunland Park in New Mexico, died Wednesday in Billings, Montana. He was 87.

Schelhamer founded United Tote, which provided betting equipment to racetracks in Montana and surrounding states, in 1957. The company expanded to serve more than 130 sites and Shelhamer then sold United Tote in 1994.

Shelhamer also built Beaumont Racetrack in Belgrade, Montana, in 1954, and later owned and operated Sunland from the mid-1980s into the 1990s.

“Lloyd was an interesting person,” said Norm Amundson, a longtime racing secretary. “He would go to these little meets and contract himself as the racing secretary, the announcer. I was his nephew and I went along with him. That’s how I got my start in racing.”

Shelhamer is survived by his wife, Claudia, and six children. Funeral services will be held at the Elks Club in Billings, Montana, on Oct. 26. Shelhamer, who served in World War II, will be buried with military honors at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park.