Jack Shoup: A lifetime of service to his city and church

Jerry Perry

The son of Carl Clifton and Ruth Electa (Witt), Jack Shoup was born Sept. 24, 1927 and raised in Riverview, Michigan at 17047 Smith Street. 

Jack attended F.B. Sibley School and graduated from Albert E. Smith High School in 1946. He was a member of the 1944 A.E.Smith runner-up state of Michigan Class D basketball team, which lost to Bridgman High school in the state finals. 

Fresh out of high school, Jack first hired in as a DPW worker for the Village of Riverview. In 1948, he joined the Naval Reserve. 

On May 20, 1950 he married his high school sweetheart, Viola Anna Mains, and they wound up being  married 68 years. Viola and Jack were blessed with three children – all boys – Dennis, Jeff and Jim. 

In 1953, Jack was hired as a patrolman for the then Village of Riverview Police Department. Jack soon became a sergeant on the force. In 1957 during the cold war years, Jack started the Volunteer Office of Civil Defense Police Force consisting of 20 volunteers. 

 In 1961, with the retirement of then-Police Chief Andrew Davis, Sergeant Jack R. Shoup was appointed Chief of the Riverview Police Department at the young age of 33. 

Riverview City was in the middle of a city manager “Storm” in the 60s and 70s, unable to deal with a new city charter change putting the city manager in charge of running the affairs of the city and not the mayor. 

With the resignation of then City Manager Frank Blake, Chief of Police Jack R. Shoup, was appointed as acting city manager until the City Council hired a fellow from Marshall Michigan by the name of Nyal Deems.

With the abrupt and surprising resignation, in January of 1966, of City Manager Nyal Deems (after only being on the job just 9 months), Police Chief Shoup was appointed as acting City Manager – again! 

He joked at the time, “I just hope I can last until they find a new city manager.” 

And find one they did! The city council appointed Jack as permanent City Manager May of 1966 bypassing 17 applications for the position. 

The Mayor said at the time, “I can only speak for myself, but I think Jack had impressed the council when he acted as city manager in 1964 and more recently

“He knows the problems and personalities, and there is a good relationship all around among the council members and Jack.”

In 1968 the city was in the middle of a building boom caused by the Veterans coming back from the wars and looking for homes. The schools were overrun with the students from these parents and were operating in temporary buildings and were going to have to build some expensive schools. 

It was decided that if you owned the empty property you could stop the building. So Jack was given the task to formulate a plan to get the new project called “Pie in the sky” rolling. And so he did. The city passed a 2 million dollar recreation bond issue and began to buy all the large parcels of empty land. 

Now Jack was faced with “How we are going to pay the money back?”. 

“Easy,” the city council said. 

Shoup was given some vacant land and directed to start a landfill. With money generated by the landfill, the city could pay off the bond. Simple, right?

Jack did all the research and found out what kind of equipment was needed to run the 

landfill. Now the city needed someone to run the landfill and because Shoup has done all the groundwork, the city asked, and Jack volunteered to be landfill director.

He hired landfill workers and bought heavy equipment, but state permitting rules held up the project. With no trash coming in, no money was being made.

During this time the city manager-city council feud continued and when another manager abruptly resigned, Shuop was handed that job for the third time.

Shoup stayed on as city manager until 1972 when he returned to running the landfill until his retirement in 1986.

Jack also served on the school board for 20 and was also a charter member of the Riverview Goodfellows. 

He could also always be found with his old pal Gene Turner fixing anything that needed fixing at his beloved church.

Jack passed quietly at home at the age of 92, predeceased by his parents and his brother Carl. He is survived by his beloved Wife Viola; his children: Dennis, Jeff and Jim (Sandy); his grandchildren, Michelle, Dawn, Samantha (Chris), Jacob, Joshua, Jonathan, and his brother Wayne “Bud” (Joyce) He is also survived by his many nieces and nephews. 

Rest in peace old friend. The city and all its residents thank you for all the years of service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *