At the age of 79 on Oct. 13, 2008, Richard “Rick” William Shobe issued his final “over-and-out.” Born May 30, 1929 in Highland Park, Mich., Rick moved to Boston as a young boy with his family due to the launch of his father’s aviation company, Shobe Airlines. Upon his father’s untimely death, Rick returned to Detroit with his mother and brother and spent the rest of his life in the Detroit area.
As a young man, Rick joined the National Guard and, in 1950, was called up to serve in the Air Force during the Korean War. After the war, Rick spent 34 years as an engineer and a draftsman for Ford Motor Co., Dearborn. Following his Ford retirement, he became a consultant for General Motors’ Kentucky-based Corvette facility and other automotive-related clients.
Rick had a deep sensitivity to and understanding of people. He believed in extending himself to others and in doing so assumed volunteer activities such as vestryman at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church-Detroit; hockey coach and director of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) of the Southfield Amateur Hockey Club; and former president of the North Lexington Condo Homes Association, Northville. He especially loved working with teenagers and enjoyed imparting his deep sense of moral philosophy to them.
In addition to his family, Rick’s great passions were sailing his boat Sho-be-do on the beautiful lakes of Michigan; playing a round of golf with his friends, three boys or grandsons; and discussing world history — especially the history of aviation.
Richard was a devoted husband to his wife of 54 years, Barbara Ann (Williams) Shobe, and a loving father to his five children and their spouses: Mark, Jon (Doris), Nancy Shobe of Santa Barbara, Eric (Eileen), and Alice (Eric Svaren). Ten grandchildren, including granddaughter Allison Stelyn of Santa Barbara; and his brother, Albert Shobe, also survive him.
Per the family’s wishes, funeral arrangements will be private. Memorial donations may be made to the Novi Senior Center, c/o Richard W. Shobe Memorial-Special Events Fund, 25075 Meadowbrook Road, Novi, Mich. 48375. For all those who knew Rick, the family has only one request: to take a moment to salute Rick on this, his final flight.