Obituary: Shinn, Frank Pierce, Jr.
SHINN, Frank Pierce, Jr. A pioneer in Columbia Basin irrigation and agricultural land development, passed away on May 30, 2014 at his home in Moses Lake, Washington with family at his side. Frank was born in Spokane, Washington, the youngest of four children, on August 21, 1924 to Frank Pierce Shinn, Sr. and Ethel Mae (Hahn) Shinn, He grew up in Otis Orchards where his family grew apples, graduating from Gonzaga Prep where he was captain of the boxing team in his senior year and was nicknamed “Punchy”. He took instruction to become a Catholic and married Lois Ann Schimmels - also a native Spokane Valley resident - in 1945. They raised five children together. After working several years in the irrigation business for others, Frank started Moses Lake’s first irrigation business in 1954. He recognized early that the Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin Reclamation Project’s irrigation water would ultimately change the desert landscape into highly productive agricultural ground. The irrigation business thrived and Frank soon expanded his business interests to include infrastructure development and financing for individual agriculture parcels as the Basin developed. He also had a good mind for mechanical design/industrial production and helped develop key components in early pivot irrigation systems, building about 35 pivots under the Shinn-Bilt name before selling the design rights to Pierce Irrigation. Frank freely contributed his time and talents to community development, serving several terms as a Grant County Port Commissioner, where he helped land Japan Airlines as a long-term Port lessee. He was an active member of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, and the Columbia Basin Development League. In his later years he served a term on the first Grant County Water Conservancy Board, putting his lifelong experience with irrigation and water law to use helping others make changes to existing water rights. Frank contributed significantly to the Big Bend Community College Foundation, purchasing a new greenhouse as a memorial to his son John and establishing a remainder trust. He was preceded in death by sons John and Stephan, second wife Lorna (Olander) Shinn, sister Peggy Hoffman and brothers Max and Homer. He is survived by daughters, Connie Beck (Larry) and Denise Heard (Brooks), son Frank P. Shinn III, former wife and friend Lois Shinn, nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. There will be a private celebration of life for Frank later this summer. Interment of his ashes will be in the Columbarium at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Moses Lake. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the John Michael Shinn Memorial Scholarship at Big Bend Community College or to the charity of your choice. Please sign the online guestbook or leave a note for the family at www.kayserschapel.com Arrangements are in care of KAYSER’S CHAPEL & CREMATORY, Moses Lake, WA.