Benoni "Ben"'s Story
Benoni (Ben) Everette Shinn Jr., 75, passed away peacefully after a long illness on March 13, 2017, in Knoxville, Iowa. Family and friends will long remember his competitive spirit, adventurous nature, and bellowing voice. Ben was the number one fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs.
Ben was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on February 1, 1942. He was the eldest son of Edith and Benoni Shinn Sr. Only weeks before his birth, his mother wrote to her sister-in-law Bonnie Nichols Loyanchan, "I gained 5 ½ pounds in the last two weeks, maybe you want to change your mind about my baby not weighing over six pounds." Ben bounced into this world a healthy 8 pounds 5 ½ ounces and grew to be a big, strapping boy.
Not long after Ben's birth, Benoni left for World War II. While in the Army, stationed in Italy, he wrote often. He missed his family and in particular his son "Benny." On April 3, 1945, Benoni fretted, "by the time I get home he will probably be going to school, if not already graduated."
Benoni had the good fortune of returning from the war long before graduation. He and Edith grew their family, adding two additional big, strapping boys, Roger Earl and Michael John. Ben attended school in Knoxville (Class of 1960) and took great pleasure in tormenting his younger brothers. He loved fast cars and raising hell with his friends.
Ben enlisted in the United States Navy in the summer of 1960. Ben proudly served on the USS Kemper County (LST 854) in Hawaii before honorably discharging from the Navy on April 1, 1964. Ben loved to recount unfiltered stories of his time in the Navy.
After his discharge, he first worked for his uncle, Joe Shinn (Big Joe), and later worked on the construction of the Red Rock Dam. Later, he worked with his father in the trucking business, Ben Shinn Trucking, and was joined by brothers Roger and Mike.
Ben started his own family in 1966. Ben married Betty Carson Shilling, who had a son Cory and daughter Rhonda. Subsequently, Betty and Ben added a baby girl, Terees, to the family.
After the marriage dissolved and time had passed, Ben continued to grow his family. On November 8, 1980, Ben married Linda Kay Coop, who had sons Jim and Mike Nichols. Ben and Linda had many adventures together before his passing. He took great pride in his bountiful garden and loved his pets.
Ben is preceded in death by his parents and stepsons Cory Shilling and Jim Nichols. He is survived by his wife Linda Coop Shinn; daughter Terees Shinn-Jenkins (and husband Kenny) of Austin, Texas; stepson Mike Nichols of Altoona, Iowa; stepdaughter Rhonda Shilling Chambers of Knoxville, Iowa; grandchildren Bailey and Barrett Jenkins of Austin, Texas and Rachel Nichols Mayfield (and husband Chance) of Bussey, Iowa; great-grandchildren TJ, Kaden, and Asher Mayfield of Bussey, Iowa; brothers Roger Shinn (and wife Kathy) and Mike Shinn (and wife Linda), of Knoxville, Iowa; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Services for Ben were held at the Winfield Funeral Home on March 18, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. Family received visitors from 9:30 a.m. until time of service. Ben wished to be cremated and to have his cremated remains interred at the Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville, Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Marion County Iowa Humane Society or to the HCI Hospice Care Services of Knoxville, Iowa.
Published on March 16, 2017