John A. Shibler, 99, passed away, due to complications caused by several falls, on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at his rural Saint Marys home. He was born the fifth of nine children on July 17, 1921 at Milan, MI, the son of Albert and Margaret (Wernette) Shibler. John lived in Michigan most of his life. At the age of 20 he moved to California and went to airplane engine mechanic school. At the age of 21 (August 1942), he enlisted in the Navy as an airplane engine mechanic. He served his four-year term in Pennsicola, FL and Pearl Harbor, HI. After discharge he traveled the US for 90 days and then went back to his job in CA. In April 1946 he met his true love and married Emma Hazel Hodges on November 9, 1946. Their first two children of ten were born in CA and the remaining eight were born in Michigan.
In February 1951 they moved to a farm in Atlanta, MI where John started raising Hereford cattle. Two years after having difficulty making a go of the cattle business, John and his brother Jim, started a logging business in which he continued to do for the next 26+ years. All of his sons worked with him in the logging business in MI. In 1955 they moved to the second home that John had built (he built his first home in CA). On Memorial Day weekend 1961 John and Emma moved into the unfinished third home that John was building in Atlanta, MI where their tenth and last child was born. They lived there for 18.5 years, April 1979, at which time they moved to Saint Marys, KS along with seven of their children and their families. John built his fourth house in KS, moving again in February 1981. They lived in Kansas for ten years. During that time John joined worked with his son David in his Home Repair business.
On June 1, 1991 they were on the road again with their daughter and granddaughter to New London, Minnesota where John built his fifth home at the age of 70 years. On August 28, 1995 another move was prompted to Saint Cloud, MN. John and Emma lived in the Saint Cloud area with their daughter and granddaughter for nine years. On July 8, 2004 they moved back to Kansas where they would have more children to help care for them. They spent the remainder of their lives in Kansas. After returning to KS, John even went to work again helping David in his business, well into his 80's.
John was a very dedicated Traditional Roman Catholic and was a member of the Maple Hill Knights of Columbus Council #16168." He had a very strong will to work (he was often called a workaholic). He was also very dedicated to giving his wife and children what they needed. He enjoyed shooting guns and getting together with the family to shoot rabbits. Logging never left his blood stream as he loved cutting down and cutting up trees, even into his 80's, when his son had to take his chainsaw away. That was a sad day for him! Also, he had a driver's license and was still driving in his mid-90's.
When asking John, at his 50th Wedding Anniversary, what contributed the most to the fifty years together, John's reply was: "I was never a self-starter, that's why I married a crank and she has had me going ever since." He loved spending time with his children on Sunday, his only day to rest. Now he can rest in peace.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Emma on April 16, 2013. They celebrated 66 years of marriage. He was also preceded in death by his parents and in-laws; four sisters (one infant); four brothers (one infant); son-in-law Steven Burgess; granddaughter-in-law Desarae "Dawn" Shibler; five infant grandchildren;
Survivors include his children Edward (Evelyn) Shibler of Delia, KS, Bill (Claudia) Shibler of St. Marys, KS, Michael Shibler Spring Grove, PA, Margaret (Jerry) Helmin of Bowlus, MN, David (Julie) Shibler of St. Marys, KS, Daniel (Ann) Shibler of Greenleaf, WI, Fred (Theresa) Shibler of Spring Grove, PA, Barbara Burgess of Louisville, KY, Frank (Jean) Shibler of Lake Worth, FL, and Steve Shibler of West Palm Beach, FL; 48 grandchildren, and 110 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and a sister-in-law Beverly Hodges of Victorville, CA.
Requiem High Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, August 1, 2020, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Maple Hill. Interment with military honors will follow at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Emmett. Mr. Shibler will lie in state from 6:00 P.M. until the start of the rosary at 7:00 P.M. Friday, July 31, 2020, at Piper Funeral Home.
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