Jerry Lee Shinn of Quapaw began his journey west Monday morning, Feb. 16, 2009, at Freeman Heart Institute in Joplin, Mo.
Jerry was born Aug. 13, 1938, in Mount Vernon, Mo., to Frank and Daisy (Yancey) Shinn.
He grew up in the Fisher Flats area of Turkey Ford, Okla., before traveling extensively with his family.
He proudly served in the U.S. Army from August, 1958 to August, 1961 with the 793rd Engr Amph Artillery Unit, Fort Lewis, Washington, settling in Quapaw.
He attended the First Christian Church of Quapaw, assisting with church activities, the Benjamin Quapaw Children’s Foster Home, Foster Parents Program, Quapaw Little League and Pee Wee Football, Quapaw Booster Club, Promenade Indian Club and the Quapaw Gourd Club.
He worked for Burgraff Tire in Quapaw before dedicating 32 years as a plumber (10) and (22) as a cabinetmaker with Newell Coach Corporation of North Miami.
After retiring in June of 2000, he assisted his wife in the creation of Native Cultural Arts, becoming an award-winning silversmith, shell worker, bone worker and wood carver. His work is in the collections of many mainstream Native Artists as well as Bud Adams, owner of the Tenn. Titans.
He leaves his wife and life companion of 18 and a half years, Patty Harjo-Shinn; the treasured family of son, William Tarrant and Crystal Gallo; four cherished granddaughters, Amanda, Leah, Taibree and Abby; three grandsons, Jimmy, Woodrow and Kevin, as well as many adopted children and grandchildren who brought him hours of joy; Indian mother, Amanda Greenback, and sister, Rosanna Lord; beloved sister, Betty and husband Don Sloltenberg; brother, Paul and wife Lucille Shinn of Wichita, Kan.; brother, Frankie and wife Cindy Shinn of Seneca, Mo.; sister, Gerrl Shinn; sister, Joann and husband Roy Teeter of Quapaw; his nieces and nephews and his friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Leroy, Jimmy and Charles, and one sister, Helen.
A community celebration will be held Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009, at 12:30 p.m. with a gourd dance followed by dinner at 2 p.m. and other activities at the Ottawa/Peoria Cultural Center in Miami, Okla.
Everyone is invited.
Traditional food will be provided and a covered dish would be appreciated.
Please bring your own chair.