By trade he was a writer and editor, but he often told his co-workers that being a parent was his favorite role in life. Organized, astute and adroit, Steve Shinn managed a good life across two states and two millennia.
Stephen Calvin Shinn, 91, died Sept. 7, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas.
Born Dec. 15, 1928, in Kirksville, Missouri, Steve was the son of Otto Lee and Dorsey Muriel (Naylor) Shinn. He married Anna Ruth Bailey on Aug. 5, 1950, in Kirksville. They raised three children together and enjoyed 57 years of marriage before she died of Alzheimer’s disease. Between her death and his own, she was in his thoughts every day.
Steve graduated from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in 1949 and received two degrees from MU: a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1950 and a master’s of arts degree in journalism in 1970. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Steve was an editor for the Kirksville Daily Express for five years before moving to the Kansas City area to edit publications for Great Lakes Pipeline Co. and later Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co.
In 1967, the family moved to Columbia to begin Steve’s long career at MU. He was the editor of MU’s Missouri Alumnus magazine for 24 years, retiring in 1991 from his position as director of publications and alumni communications. In 1993, the university named the Steve Shinn Communications Suite in the Reynolds Alumni Center in his honor.
Steve was a member of the university’s Jefferson Club and an endowed life member of the MU Alumni Association. He served as a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church in Kirksville and taught the high school Sunday school class there and at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Gladstone. He was a member of the Pug Dog Club of America and the American Numismatic Association. He loved jazz standards, good meals with good company and watching movies, especially Westerns.
In 2010, Steve moved right next door to his son Alan in Lubbock, Texas, where they were thick as thieves to the very end. He received frequent calls and visits from his son Eric, with whom he shared a love of Missouri Tigers football and basketball. He and his daughter, Amy, emailed each other every day for nearly 20 years, and she too made many trips with her family to his home in Lubbock.
In addition to his wife, Steve was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Christine (Eggeman) Shinn, and his cousin, Bill Shinn of Kansas City, who was like a brother.
He is survived by his children, Eric Shinn (Mary Hill-Shinn) of Round Rock, Texas, Alan Shinn of Lubbock and Amy Elliott (Jim) of Brookfield, Missouri; seven grandchildren, Emmy Hill (Ruben Lopez), David Hill (Casie Lippe), Alex Hill, Erin Shinn Sreenivasan (Rahul), Lauren Shinn, Jaime Elliott Freidrichs (Chad) and Jennifer Elliott; brother David Shinn (Libby) of Kansas City; sister Sheila Shinn of Blue Springs; friend Lisa Rogers of Lubbock; six nieces and nephews; and six great-grandchildren.
The family will gather at a future date in celebration of Steve’s life. Memorial gifts are suggested to your local Alzheimer’s Association.