Joe "Pete" Shaner, 88, of Lexington died March 8
Joe Colon “Pete” Shaner Jr., 88, of Lexington passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Elizabeth Dahl Shaner, and his children, Catherine Shaner Carlock (Craig) and Mitchell Dahl Shaner (Laura), all of Lexington. He was preceded in death by his oldest and youngest sons, Joe Colon Shaner III and Mark William Shaner.
He adored and was adored by his seven grandchildren: Joseph and Catherine Carlock; Jackson, Peter, and Gabriel Shaner; and Mark and Elizabeth Shaner.
Born on March 23, 1928, to the late Joe C. Shaner Sr. and Lolita Pearl Rogers Shaner, Pete grew up in East Lexington where he attended Lavesia School (across from the greenhouses). He later rode his bike daily across the old covered bridge to Lexington High School. Working every afternoon while in high school, he enjoyed selling freshly grown vegetables door-to-door throughout town.
He attended Virginia Tech for two years, but after a bout of rheumatic fever, returned home to help run the family greenhouse business. Pete became the fifth-generation owner of Joe C Shaner and Son Inc, which dates back to 1843.
A friend to many, Pete had a quick wit, sharp mind, and keen sense of humor. In the 1970s Pete was inspired to join the Rockbridge County School Board by Curtis Humphris whom he enjoyed visiting and sharing a slice of cheese at the general store. He later chaired that board, becoming a lifelong education advocate.
He enjoyed reading - often three books at a time - and valued taking care of his family, fellow man, and community. In earlier years he was an active member of the Jaycees and Lions Club, served on boards of People’s Bank, United Way, and as president of the Country Club.
Taking golf trips and family vacations, traveling, and following sports were favorite activities over the years, but Pete always appreciated returning to the beauty of Rockbridge County.
Later in life, Pete served on the Rockbridge Library’s Board of Trustees. A lifelong member of Manly Memorial Baptist Church, where he served in various capacities, Pete was a man of deep faith who rarely missed a weekly church service.
He loved springtime, and even into his 80s continued to wait on customers at the greenhouses, where he always reminded them to plant their tomatoes deep. A man of discipline and routine, he rose early almost every morning and had breakfast at local restaurants (including the Redwood and most recently Waffle House) where he enjoyed the company of many local characters. He ended his day with devotional and Bible readings.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held on Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Lexington (due to current renovations at Manly Memorial).
Memorial contributions may be made to Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA), P.O. Box 640, Lexington VA 24450.