Cover photo for Barbara A. Shinabery's Obituary
Barbara A. Shinabery Profile Photo
1930 Barbara 2020

Barbara A. Shinabery

July 20, 1930 — November 28, 2020

Barbara Anne Shinabery, 90, of Bluffton, Ohio, passed away in Lima on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020.

Barbara was born on July 20, 1930, in Lima to Clinton Gerald and Florence (Leasure) Wright. She was a published poet and accomplished pianist, and earned the money to buy her first piano by working at Meadow Gold.

After being graduated from South High School in June 1948 she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Bluffton College in August 1953. At graduation she had been newly married for just 20 days to E. Ray Shinabery, Jr. Their nuptials took place at Wesley Methodist Church in Lima. Ray was recently graduated from Ohio State University. The couple made their first home in a small apartment on Catalpa, not far from the Catalpa address where she had grown up. In that first home, while Ray began his long career as a band director, she spent time organizing and typing his master's thesis.

To raise their growing family, which would eventually number five children, the couple bought a house and 10 acres in Bath Township. There they grew a large garden every year, and Barbara began teaching piano to her family. Their Christmas Eve tradition was to listen to Fred Waring's "Twas the Night Before Christmas" on 78 rpm records, after which Barbara would play carols as the children sang along. They were once featured in the Lima News for their musical abilities.

The family moved to a farm in Beaverdam in 1974. After the children were grown, Ray and Barbara fully retired, in 1993, to Bluffton.

In her career, Barbara taught at Bath and was parts manager for many years at Northwest Fuel Injection, in Columbus Grove, Ohio.

At Wesley, Barbara was involved in various ministries. She wrote plays and acted in the performances there for church events. Throughout her life Barbara sang in church choirs that Ray directed, and played in bell choirs including at West Elm United Church of Christ and Forest Park United Methodist Church. First UMC, Bluffton, became their church home when they retired.

Barbara was known as the card lady. She cross-stitched Christmas cards every year for family and friends around the country. She also cross-stitched images from pictures in her children's lives to commemorate their accomplishments and successes. She once quilted a blanket for each child to mark their milestones.

Barbara and Ray were married for 64 years. He died just days after that anniversary. Barbara was also preceded in death by her parents; an older brother The Rev. Owen Wright and his wife Phyllis; an infant sister; her in-laws E. Ray Shinabery, Sr. and his wife Ruth and their daughter Melba; her brother- and sister-in-law Harold and Marilyn Swygart; her brother-in-law Charles Brown; a son-in-law Matthew Michalak; and a daughter-in-law Judy (Owen) Shinabery.

She is survived by her children: Michael Shinabery of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, The Rev. Dr. Kimberly Shinabery of Denver, Colorado, Robin Michalak of Etna, Ohio, Matthew Shinabery of Denver, Colorado, and Mark Shinabery and his wife Brittainy of Lancaster, Ohio; her grandchildren Ryan Commeans of Etna, Ohio, Christopher Shinabery and his wife Hillary of Cloudcroft, New Mexico; and Shara Hammond and her husband Marvin of Artesia, New Mexico; a sister, Loretta; and various nephews and nieces.

Barbara's family celebrated her 90th birthday this summer in Bluffton. The event would be the final time they were able to gather and share memories.

Barbara's celebration of life will take place on Thursday, December 3, at First United Methodist Church, 116 Church Street, Bluffton, Ohio. The viewing is at 10 a.m., and the service at 11. Pallbearers are grandsons Ryan Commeans and Christopher Shinabery, nephews Randy Brown and Lance Brown, and friend and neighbor Ron Epp.

Condolences may be expressed at

Chamberlain-Huckeriede funeral Home in charge of arrangement

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara A. Shinabery, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 3, 2020

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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