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Melvin Lee "Rusty"
1962 - 2017
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Obituary for Melvin Lee "Rusty" Shipley

Melvin “Rusty” Lee Shipley, 55, entered into heaven surrounded by family at home on April 20, 2017, after a nine-month long battle with esophageal cancer.

He was born February 19, 1962, at Fairfax Community Hospital to James Dean Shipley and Polly Ann (Smith) Shipley of Tarkio, Missouri. Rusty was a 1980 graduate of Tarkio High School where he met his high school sweetheart, Phyllis (Rhoades) Shipley.

Rusty and Phyllis were married July 25, 1981, at Tarkio First Assembly of God. Rusty worked as a farm hand before going to college. He then attended Northwest Missouri State University on a wrestling scholarship. He graduated in 1986 with his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Data Processing. For the next twenty-five years, Rusty worked as an accountant. During that time he and Phyllis welcomed four daughters.

In 2010, Rusty went back to Northwest Missouri State University for his master’s degree in Agriculture Education. From 2011 to 2015, Rusty taught Ag and Business classes and served as an FFA advisor at South Page Community School, while simultaneous teaching business classes at Essex Community School. In 2015, Rusty began teaching at Northwest Missouri State University, where he worked as an agriculture instructor until one week before his death. He took great joy in teaching; and the commitment he made to students was known by all.

Rusty made the decision to follow Christ as a young child, and that decision guided his entire life. He served as a deacon and taught Sunday school classes for most of his adult years – most recently at Laura Street Baptist Church. Leading his family to know and follow Jesus always came first for Rusty. Something he also enjoyed teaching his family was about life on the farm. The Shipley farm was always a lively place with many projects, and provided Rusty with many teaching opportunities.

In his recent years, Rusty found much enjoyment in raising Brabant horses and participating in activities with the South Central Iowa Draft Horse Association.

Rusty was a proud grandpa “Pop” to seven grandchildren and was looking forward to welcoming number eight in November.

Rusty was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Kai Shipley Palecek, his father, James Dean Shipley, and his grandparents, Theodore and Mildred Shipley and Melvin (Jack) Smith and his In- Laws William and Barbara Rhoades.

Besides his loving wife of 36 years, Rusty is survived by his daughters and their families: Kaitlynn (Jacob) Holmes of College Springs IA and their four children Jack, William, Mary Kate and Josie; Lindsay (Brett) Palecek of Arnold, MO and their two sons Jake and Oliver; Morgan (Andrew) Hoza of Maryville, MO and their two children, Callie and Baby Hoza; and Abigail Shipley of Maryville, MO and fiancée, Mitchell Bailey of Trenton, MO. He is also survived by his mother, Polly (Jack) Carolle of Stockton, MO, and his siblings, Gordon (Linda) Shipley, Topeka, KS; Rodney (Renee) Shipley, Stockton, MO; and Rebecca (Timothy) Loane, Stockton, MO; sister-in-law, Barbie (Richard) Underwood, Oxford, PA; brother-in-law Billy Rhoades, Columbus, NJ; sister-in-law, Linda (Eddy) Lobley, Oxford, PA; sister-in-law, Carol (Larry) Brooks, Oxford, PA; sister-in-law Joan (Mike) Gitatis, Middletown, DE; brother-in-law, Stephen (Susie) Rhoades, Indiana, PA ; sister-in-law, Susan (John) Lanza, Middletown, PA; brother-in-law David (Kristin) Rhoades, Wilmington, DE; his grandmother, Wynona (Hamby) Smith, Stockton, MO; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Rusty leaves behind a legacy of faith, hard work, and love. He impacted many lives for the better and will be greatly missed.

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