Neil C. Shade Sr., 85, of Cherry Hill Road, Albion, died early Thursday morning, March 14, 2013 at St. Marys Home of Erie.
He was born Oct. 23, 1927 in Erie, a son of the late Earl L. Shade and Catherine Johnson. He was married to Joan M. Carlin Shade on Sept. 6, 1949. She preceded him in death on April 19, 2002.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving as a cryptographer during the Berlin Airlift. He was a lifelong entrepreneur and self-employed printer in Erie before joining the military, and later worked at Shade’s Concrete Block Company. In the 1950s he began working with his father at Shade’s Auto Sales, Inc. in Erie, and eventually became president and owner of the business (later Shade’s Mazda) until his retirement in 1992. Up until his death he worked as a farmer and managed rental property.
He was a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Albion, and was a key supporter during the church's rebuilding effort following the tornado in 1985. He was devoted to his seven children and was active in the football, band, wrestling, basketball, 4-H, cheerleading, and track boosters at Harborcreek and Northwestern high schools. He was also involved in assisting candidates at the local and county level in politics. He enjoyed time with his children and grandchildren and helping many of them become skilled at horsemanship through encouragement, reading a good WWII novel, sports, old friends, a good steak, stamp collecting, woodworking, bowling, golf, German Shepard dogs, tropical fish, riding his tractor, landscaping, raising farm animals, and automobiles and the car business. He was a hard-working, loving and supportive father who placed family above all else.
He is survived by his children, Retired Navy Commander Anne E. (Retired Rear Admiral Dana) McKinney of Alexandria, Va., William J. Shade of Naples, Fla., Thomas E. (Nancy) Shade of DuBois, Neil C. (Paula) Shade of Albion, Mary R. (Paul) Morosky of Cranesville, Katherine M. (Alex) Khairkhahan of Palo Alto, Calif., and John R. (Angie) Shade of Albion; a brother, Richard, of Erie; and 10 grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Douglas; and two brothers, Ray and Earl Jr.
A Catholic Mass for Neil C. Shade Sr. will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Lawrence Church in Albion. Burial will be in the Albion Cemetery following Mass.