Deacon Abel Shinhoster entered life on July 5, 1949, in Metter, GA., the son of Ezekiel L. Shinhoster and Suzie Bell Johnson Shinhoster. He entered eternal rest on Monday, June 14, 2021. He was 71 years old.
He was a family man and faithful church leader. He served others with a quick smile and an encouraging word.
Deacon Shinhoster grew up in Candler County, working from a young age on his father’s farm. He graduated from Lillian Street High School. He was baptized as a youth at St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church and served at the church throughout his life. He was chairman of the deacon board for several years.
He remained married to his high school sweetheart, Margaret Hills Shinhoster, for 52 years, and they raised their family of three girls and two boys on land he sowed and reaped with his father.
Deacon Shinhoster was well-known in Candler County. One of his most treasured accomplishments was working as a school bus driver for 43 years with the Candler County Board of Education. Throughout his career, he safely transported children from their communities to elementary, junior, and high schools. After he retired in 2015, he returned as a substitute bus driver and worked during the COVID 19 pandemic.
His school bus driving duties extended to trips out of the county and the state. He drove buses carrying school bands, football teams and Future Farmers of America . He took students to band competitions to Carowinds, amusement park in North Carolina, Daytona Beach, and Universal Studios in Orlando.
Last August, Deacon Shinhoster was recognized by the Candler County School System’s Transportation Department for his years of service and was featured in the Metter Advertiser. He delighted in seeing students grow up over the years, graduating from students to parents. He welcomed their children on his bus as well. Former students often waved or called out to him when he traveled about the county.
“It makes me feel real good to be recognized for all the years hauling children for the school,” he told the newspaper.
For several years, he also worked as a custodian at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.
Deacon Shinhoster enjoyed fishing, hunting, grilling, and engaging in lively conversations. He also loved going to church and watching westerns and wrestling.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 52 years, Margaret H. Shinhoster; five children Terry D. Shinhoster, Statesboro; Kelvin M. Shinhoster (Starr), Swainsboro; Nicole S. Washington, Metter; Sean R. Shinhoster, Metter; and Francesca A. Shinhoster, Statesboro; two sisters-in-law, Rena H. Atkinson, Las Vegas, and Juanita Hills, Metter; two brothers-in-law, Billy Hills, Statesboro, and Dale Hills, Metter; 13 grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
The Staff of Whitaker Funeral Home is honored to support and serve the Shinhoster family with Dignity, Respect and Integrity during this time.
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