John Shoaf – Dominion Post

John Richard Shoaf died on July 1, 2022 at WVU Medicine Hospice. Although John suffered from stage 4 kidney disease, he succumbed to complications from a stroke suffered on June 23.

John was born on October 30, 1942, in the upstairs bedroom of his grandparents’ home on Jones Avenue in Morgantown, to Doris Runner Shoaf and James “Jimmy” Riley Shoaf II.

After her father’s release from a German POW camp in 1945, Doris and Jimmy, along with their two sons, James “Skip” and John, moved to Collingswood, NJ John graduated from Collingswood High School in 1960 , but he spent his summers in both Morgantown and on the Runner Farm in Tom Cat Hollow near Point Marion, Pennsylvania. John graduated from WVU with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Secondary Education (Science and Social Studies). John furthered his education by taking college and technical courses and received several additional certifications.

After graduating from college, John stayed in Morgantown. His first teaching job was at Tunnelton School. For his second year and several more years he was at Bruceton Mills School. He later transferred to Morgantown Junior High and later to the new South Middle School when it opened. In each school, he taught science in the eighth grade. John loved teaching eighth grade, which he called “the quiet years.” He loved his students and he loved science. He respected almost all administrators. He retired with 39 years of teaching experience.

During his summers in Morgantown and his college years, he enjoyed spending time with the Velveteens Band and working at Jordan’s Gulf. Later interests were cars and more cars. He loved photography, especially taking pictures of cars. John enjoyed taking his Sunbeam Tigers to car shows, attending trade-ins, and telling anyone who asked anything they wanted to know about Sunbeam cars. He was proud to work with Insane Cycles to rebuild a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger in Playboy Pink as a tribute to the pink Sunbeam Tiger given to the 1965 Playmate of the Year. Additionally, he enjoyed listening to and dancing to reggae music (especially Small Axe), locating and eating at metal restaurants (he was a restaurant junkie), collecting glass and china made by WV, mowing his lawn and washing his cars. He and Melodie loved to go everywhere, visit different places and participate in different activities. He always took Melodie to the places she wanted to go and/or see. They might not be places he would choose, but he went there and made sure she had a good time. During and after the pandemic, they were both happy to sit and watch TV, listen to old classics and spoil the cats. They liked to do all sorts of things together and being in each other’s company was enough to make them happy. They both had a great sense of humor, but sometimes only they got the joke.

John was co-founder and member of the Dream Machines Car Club. He was a member of Tigers East/Alpines East, California Association of Tiger Owners, American Diner Museum, Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor and WV Science Teacher Association.

John is predeceased by his parents, Doris (Runner) and James Shoaf II; his brother, James III “Skip”; and her grandparents, Sylvia and Phillip Runner. He is survived by his life partner, (girlfriend, significant other and soul mate) Melodie DeWitt, 42. Also survived is her sister-in-law, Claire Shoaf, of Santa Clara, California; several cousins; and her precious feline, Whitey.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Shack Neighborhood House, PO Box 600, Pursglove, WV 26546 for its summer camp program so Mon County children have a safe place to play and learn . In the memo line, write: John Shoaf Memorial Summer Camp.

Friends and family will be received at Hastings Funeral Home, 153 Spruce St., Morgantown, from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, July 7. A private cemetery service will be held at Beverly Hills Memorial Gardens at a later date.


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