OBITUARY | Charles Ray Shinn

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Charles Ray Shinn, of Oklahoma City, passed away on Feb. 27, 2024. A celebration of his life will be held on March 23 at 11 am at Disciples Christian Church, 1400 NW 178th St., in Edmond.

Charles, “Chuck” to his family and friends, was born Dec. 16, 1939, in Stroud to Gwen and Melvin Shinn. The family spent Chuck’s formative years in Luther, where his parents were both longtime educators. Chuck graduated from Luther High School in 1958.

Between his junior and senior years of high school, Chuck joined the Air National Guard. His various deployments took him around the world. He then enrolled at Central State College, where he graduated with a degree in economics and later earned a master’s degree in human development.

In 1964, Chuck married Donna Lynn Rushton in Lindsay. Two sons were born from this union: Robert, a school administrator, and John, a journalist. Sports were a large part of their lives while living in Illinois and returning to Oklahoma.

Chuck was an active member of the First Christian Church in Luther, where he became choir director and occasionally shared his faith as a guest speaker. He was blessed with a tenor singing voice and was active in chorus and occasional soloist.

In 2008, Chuck married Phylis Waits at Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond. The couple traveled extensively, once visiting York, England, to see one of the first steam engines.

Chuck’s career often centered on transportation. He worked for the Milwaukee Road Railroad Company in Chicago as an administrator and executive for 22 years and later for the Soo Line Railroad in Minneapolis.

He returned to Oklahoma with his family in the 1980s and worked in the Oklahoma Career Tech system and later Edmond Public Schools, from which he eventually retired.

A quiet man, deep thinker, and ardent reader with a sharp wit, Chuck spent his retirement volunteering with the Oklahoma Railway Museum, working as a document archivist, and participating in fund-raising drives.

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