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Published: Thursday, 7/7/2011

Robert Shinabery, 1944-2011: Instructor shared love of flying with others

BY PAYTON WILLEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TECUMSEH, Mich. -- Robert R. Shinabery, 67, a flight instructor and agricultural implement dealer, died of cancer Sunday at his home in Tecumseh.

One of his biggest passions in life -- flying -- became so great that he taught it to others, his sister Brenda Metz said.

As long as she could remember, she said, "He had a love of flying and wanted to share it. He wanted to enrich people's lives."

Mr. Shinabery received his flight instructor's license in 1966.

He became a flight instructor at Tri-State Airport in Angola, Ind., and Hillsdale Municipal Airport in Hillsdale, Mich. He also was a multiengine instructor at Jackson Community College in Jackson, Mich.

His love of flying led to a love of travel, and his love of people was part of his personality, Ms. Metz said.

"He had a great sense of humor and a terrific smile," his sister said. "Bob had a huge heart for all people."

He did mission work, including two trips to Guatemala to aid quake victims.

Mr. Shinabery was born in Morenci, Mich.

After receiving a master's degree in English linguistics at the University of Michigan in 1985, Mr. Shinabery went on to teach English and Spanish as an adjunct professor at Jackson Community College.

He owned and operated Shinabery Ag Equipment, opened by his father in the 1960s, where Mr. Shinabery worked alongside both his father and his brother, Wayne.

"It just blossomed from there," Ms. Metz said. She said he continued to expand it until he retired in 2007, after 42 years.

He liked to travel by recreational vehicle with his wife, Kathy.

Surviving are his wife, Kathy; sons, Matthew and Kenneth; brother, Wayne; sisters, Joyce Hutchison, Brenda Metz, and Eileen Baus, and three granddaughters.

Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, followed by an 11 a.m. service in Hillsdale United Brethren Church, Hillsdale. Brown-Van Hemert Funeral Home in Hudson is handling arrangements.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Lenawee County, Hillsdale United Brethren Church, or First Presbyterian Church of Tecumseh.

Contact Payton Willey at: paytonwilley@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.



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