SOUTH WHITLEY — Kevin J. Shoemaker, 54, of South Whitley, Indiana, died unexpectedly at 11:30 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, where he was admitted on Friday.
Born on Sept. 28, 1966, at Whitley County Memorial Hospital in Columbia City, he was a son of the late Jay Dee and Kay Lynn (Hamman) Shoemaker.
Growing up in South Whitley, he graduated from Whitko High School in 1985. He continued his education at Northwestern Business College – Technical Center, Lima, Ohio, where he earned an Associates Degree in Auto/Diesel repair in 1986.
On Jan. 1, 1996, he married Debra Eberly. They have always made their home in South Whitley.
He began his work career farming with Kyler Farms. until becoming an auto mechanic and body repair with Kreger Body Shop. then Bruce Petro Cadillac, Warsaw. Since 1988, he worked for the Whitko Community School Corporation maintaining their fleet of school buses.
A certified volunteer firefighter with the Cleveland Twp. Fire Department since 1998, he was assigned firefighter number 650. He was a member of Sons of AMVETS, Post #2919, in South Whitley.
Always welcoming to friends and neighbors, they often relaxed around his fire pit or in his garage “man cave” to watch a ball game, especially the Chicago Bears game. Kind and caring, he was always there for a friend in need.
His grandchildren were his pride and joy, carting them around town on his golf cart or just enjoying their company. He held a special place in his heart for his dog Harley and cat, Tiger.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Debra; children, Ryan (Britany Schmollinger) Harris, of Columbia City, Renee (Joseph) Grant, Rob Harris, and Kristofer (Brittany) Shoemaker, all of South Whitley; 10 grandchildren; a brother, Kip (Patricia) Shoemaker, of Laketon; his stepfather, Harry (the late Kay) Kyler, of Florida; aunt, Janet Woodruff; and his brothers and sisters of the Cleveland Twp. Fire Department.
Visitation will be from 1-4 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, at the Cleveland Township Fire Station with an Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association Service at 4 p.m.
Burial will take place at a later date at South Whitley Cemetery.
Arrangements are entrusted to Smith & Sons Miller Chapel in South Whitley.
Memorials in Kevin’s honor may be made to Cleveland Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com,