William T. (Bill) Shay
Well known Howard County resident, William T. “Bill” Shay died Saturday, July 27, at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia. He was 82 years of age.
The son of Thomas and Ruby (Cozean) Shay, Bill was born in St. Louis on October 12, 1936. He grew up in St. Louis Hills but, on his father’s retirement, moved with his family to a dairy farm in Central Missouri near Auxvasse. During his later teen years, he worked on the family farm and attended Fulton High School where he graduated in 1954. He continued his education at the University of Missouri in Columbia where he graduated in 1959 with a degree in Agriculture.
In 1960, Bill began what was to be a long and distinguished career with the United States Department of Agriculture. He was first an Assistant County Supervisor for Farmer’s Home Administration in North West Missouri. He later became County Supervisor at Kahoka, Mo., and in 1977 District Director for Central Missouri in Columbia. At the height of his career, Bill was appointed State Director of Rural Development for Missouri by President Bill Clinton. He held that position for eight years during which time he received special recognition, along with the State Director of Illinois, for his service to the Department. His fair and equitable leadership gained him wide respect among his employees, peers and the public. In 2001, Bill retired with 38 years of service, to enjoy traveling and life on the farm.
On December 29, 1979, Bill Shay and Connie Tindall were married in the living room of Walnut Hill Farm (her family Home). They enjoyed nearly 40 years of life and work together on the farm and in the community. They were members of Paul H. Linn Memorial United Methodist Church in Fayette and were dedicated members of the University of Missouri Alumni Association, following the Tigers through good times and bad and rarely missing a Mizzou football or basketball game.
Bill was a past president of the County Supervisors Assn. and the Fayette Senior Center. He was the Howard County Rep. for Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Bill was also a member of the Boonslick Historical Society and the Fayette Area Historical Society. Bill was an avid model railroader and railfan. He was an active member of the Boonslick Model Railroad Club in Boonville and greatly enjoyed trips with friends to swap meets and other railfan activities. As such, he held membership in the Missouri Pacific Historical Society, the Katy Railroad Historical Society and others.
Surviving are his wife, Connie, of the home; children: Brad Shay of Fulton, Beth (Steve) Schmidt of Woodstock, Ill., Shary (Art) Auer of Columbia, Rick (Patty) Trimble of Jefferson City, and Robert Trimble of Fayette; grandchildren: Josh (Candice) Schmidt, Adam Schmidt, Lucas Schmidt, Parker Trimble, Cordell Trimble, Georgia Trimble, Sadie (Troy) Burkhart, Patrisha Emme, and Mariah Emme; great-granddaughter, Lydia Burkhart. One niece and two nephews also survive. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters; Pat Knepper and Mary Yager, one niece, and grandson Caleb Emme.
A Celebration of Life for William T. Shay will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, August 10, 2019 at Linn Memorial United Methodist Church in Fayette, with Rev. Jennifer Essary officiating. Visitation will be one hour before the service, starting at 10 a.m.. The family will also greet friends from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, August 9, 2019 at Friemonth-Freese Funeral Home in Fayette. Internment will follow the service at Fayette City Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Linn Memorial Church or Fayette Senior Center care of Friemonth-Freese Funeral Service; 174 Hwy 5 & 240 N.; Fayette, MO 65248.