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Jackie Ray (J.R.) Shinabarger

Jackie Ray (J.R.) Shinabarger Obituary
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - Jackie Ray (J.R.) Shinabarger, 62, of White Sulphur Springs, died of natural causes Thursday, June 12, at Deaconess Hospital in Bozeman.

Services have taken place, with interment in Mayn Cemetery, White Sulphur Springs. Twichel Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Jackie Ray (J.R.) Shinabarger was born Dec. 24, 1949, in Staples, Minn., to Roger and Dona Shinabarger. He graduated from high school in Alexandria, Minn., and later graduated from Alexandria Technical School, with a degree in law enforcement and worked briefly for the Minnesota Highway Patrol. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sent to Vietnam, where he served as air crew for reconnaissance missions. He also served in Guam and, upon return to the United States, he served 20 years as a career recruiter, ending his service as supervisor of naval recruiting in Montana, retiring with 24 years of service. In June 1986, he completed an associate degree of arts with honors at Flathead Community College in Kalispell and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa fraternity.

In 1991, J.R. met his wife, Ronda, at MEPS in Butte, and they married Dec. 27, 1991, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Just prior to his retirement, the couple purchased the western clothing store in White Sulphur Springs, where they moved July 1, 1992. They owned and operated RJR Sports and Western Wear for the next 12 years. J.R. was employed by Meagher County as maintenance/boiler supervisor for 17 years until his retirement in December 2011. J.R. served as past president of the Meagher County Rodeo Club, White Sulphur Springs Rotary Club, member of the chamber of commerce, commander of the local VFW and member of the White Sulphur Springs District eight school board as well as the chairman of the cemetery board for some 15 years. J.R. loved animals and had fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a gentleman rancher. He enjoyed hunting, genealogy, being at his cabin, caring for his animals, attending his daughters' high school and collegiate sporting events and being with family, especially his grandchildren, Taylor, Piper, Levi and Lily.

J.R. is survived by wife Ronda Shinabarger of White Sulphur Springs; daughters Stephanie (Jason) Miller, Tanya Jackson and Farrah (James) Naldrett all of Kalispell, Mindy Cooper of Columbia Falls and Emily and Demi Shinabarger of White Sulphur Springs; parents Roger and Dona Shinabarger of Richland, Wash.; brothers Theodore (Becky) of Alexandria and David (Rachel) of Richland; sisters Linda (Dick) Basney of Hurricane, Utah, and Cindy (Steve) Newhouse of Walla Walla, Wash.; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild due in July and many beloved nieces and nephews.

J.R. was preceded in death by grandparents Leo and Dolly Penn and Wilbur and Phyllis Shinabarger.

Condolences may be posted online at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on June 20, 2012
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