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Shoup, Arthur Ray

ORRVILLE — Arthur Ray Shoup passed away at Life Care Hospice in Wooster on Tuesday morning, January 6th.  Arthur was born in Marshallville, Ohio on October 14, 1924. His father was Jacob Shoup and his mother Amy Hackman Shoup of Rittman, Ohio.  His elder siblings, all deceased, were Millard (Elsie) Shoup, Ruth (John) Weaver, Luella Shoup, Adah (Lee) Nussbaum, and Arlene (Larry) Kleinknecht.  As a young adult, Arthur served the Mennonite Central Committee in the Philippines where he met his first wife, Miriam Weaver Shoup (deceased 2002).  They married in 1947 and, after completing their service work, returned to the United States in 1949.   Settling in Orrville, Arthur and Miriam raised a loving family of seven, Sharon Sommers (Paul), Dolores (Robert Bersson), Stephen (Elsie, deceased 2019), Philip (Kris), Barbara Cook (Jay), Eleanor, and Brenda (deceased 2000) that grew to include many cherished grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  In 2005 he married Velma Zimmerly who survives.  They lived at Crown Hill Manor in Rittman through 2020.  Many happy family gatherings and Shoup reunions took place at The Manor and elsewhere during these fifteen years.
Crown Hill Mennonite Church was central to Art’s life.  He was active as an elder, Sunday and Bible School teacher, board member, small group and workshop leader.  Being a part of the prayer team that prayed for those that came to the church’s food pantry was something that he really enjoyed. “Art was always aware of people’s needs, his wife Velma wrote, “and would help to meet those needs through organizations: Mennonite Central Committee, Compassion Fund, Bible Translators and Distributing.”  His leadership in the renovation and revitalization of the Crown Hill Manor near the church brought that building and institution back to life.  As a lifelong student of Mennonite and Christian history, he was an ideal tour leader for the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Behalt Center in Holmes County.  An important historical contribution for his family, the church, and community was Art’s authorship and publication of two books, Shoupshouse and The Story of the Crown Hill Manor (co-authored with Velma Zimmerly Shoup).
Ever warm, welcoming, and appreciative of all of his 7 children, 17 grandchildren, and 17 (to date) great-grandchildren, Art was always someone you could feel close to, a father figure as well as a friend, a quiet but strong, steady presence.  For him and Miriam to have raised a family, several generations-worth, who all get along so well is a remarkable accomplishment and testament.  He always wanted the best for all of his children and their offspring and supported them in their individual interests and pursuits. He never pushed a belief or an opinion, but was always ready to give sound Godly advice when asked.   Mild-mannered and caring, he was a beloved “Dad” and “Grandpa.”
A note on speech and humor.  Art spoke slowly, thoughtfully, leaving a lot of room for response from others.  He chose his words carefully and almost never raised his voice.  He was serious but not without humor.  The latter came with a slow delivery but with wit, humor that would bring a smile or chuckle rather than a laugh.
Having lived such a long, full, and good life, his deeds and his example will live on for many years to come.
The viewing and funeral service will be held at Crown Hill Mennonite Church, Rittman on Saturday, January 16th.  Viewing will be between 9:30 and 10:45 and the funeral service at 11AM which will also be live streamed at  A gravesite service in the church cemetery will follow.  Visitors are required to wear masks, practice social distancing, and adhere to posted signs and spacing limitations.  Seating may be limited.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Manor, c/o Crown Hill Mennonite Church, Rittman, OH or Life Care Hospice, Wooster, OH.
Online registry and expressions of condolence at

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