Michael L. Shingler

June 29, 2013|By JANET HEIM |
  • This May 2006 photo of Kim, Amber and Mike Shingler was taken at a wedding in which Amber was a bridesmaid.
Submitted photo

It was Michael “Mike” Shingler’s collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia that led him and his wife, Kim, to a business that would become a big part of their lives. To add to his collection, they would frequent local antique shops, which led to even more collections.

Mike had worked in the grocery business since starting as a bagger at Martin’s Food Market in his teens, working his way up to assistant manager. He worked there for more than 20 years, then joined the management team at County Market, which was bought by Giant Eagle, for about four years.

In 1999, Mike decided it was time to be his own boss. He quietly scouted properties and found one on Frederick Street in Hagerstown that suited an antique shop.

“I think he’d been looking around, but didn’t say much to me,” Kim said. “His friend opened Memory Lane Antiques, and that gave him the itch. It was a big risk, but we’ve been blessed.”

Mike continued to work at Giant Eagle until 2004, then quit to devote his time to the business. They ran Remember When Antiques & Collectibles out of the Frederick Street building for 10 years, then moved the business to its current Virginia Avenue location in December 2009.

“It was his love. He loved antiques. He loved wheeling and dealing,” said Kim, adding she was embarrassed when he would try to strike a deal while shopping at the mall.

Daughter Amber Shingler of Hagerstown said her father loved “Dumpster digging.”

At Mike’s funeral, Amber shared five things her father taught her — always smile, never pay full retail for anything, be sociable, pursue dreams and have faith.

“He had such a full personality that left a lasting impact on everyone he met,” Amber said.

Mike also went to auctions, yard sales, anywhere he could find treasures for the shop and the weekly auctions they held.

“One night, we were supposed to go to the movies and we went Dumpster diving,” Kim said.

She said Mike had a good eye for what would sell, and while she plans to keep the store open for Mike, she wonders if she’ll be able to do as well “picking” as he did.

“I worked in the store every day. He got to have all the fun,” Kim said. “He used to amaze me with the stuff he came up with.”

Despite his small stature, Mike surprised people with what he could lift and his energy.

“My husband was a worker,” Kim said.

She added he started working from the time he got up in the morning until he went to sleep at night. He was also a “people person.”

“He was very sociable,” Kim said. “He drove us nuts, but now, I miss it very much. He always had a smile.”

Mike and Kim met at the Colony Inn on Frederick Street. She asked him to dance, and after they danced to one song, she started walking away.

He grabbed her by the arm and asked her where she was going, keeping her on the dance floor for more. They began dating and three years later, in June 1980, they got married.

It was hard to get Mike to take time off, but he could be persuaded if it involved camping with the family at Kerr Lake on the Virginia side, which they often did with Kim’s family.

“I grew up going there,” Amber said.

They started by camping in the back of the pickup, then a tent, graduating to a pop-up camper and eventually a hardtop. Mike did all of the cooking when they camped, including breakfast for everyone, which was a treat, Kim said.

Other favorites of Mike’s included fishing, his almost daily fix at Waffle House of a waffle and sweet tea, dancing and the Washington Redskins.

“We hope there’s sweet tea in heaven because he could down it, believe me,” Kim said.

Mike and Kim were involved with the South Hagerstown High School Rebel Band Boosters from 1996 to 2000 when Amber was in the band.

From chaperoning band competitions and trips to Walt Disney World and Myrtle Beach to working the concession stand, doing fundraising and attending the booster meetings, the Shinglers could be counted on.

“We have a lot of fond memories,” Kim said. “We had a blast. Michael, he was one of the kids, believe me. The kids loved him.”

Amber went to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and continued her marching band career. Her parents loved going there for home football games.

Life changed for Mike after a health scare about 15 years ago. He had been diagnosed with a heart murmur when he was 2.

At age 39, Mike thought he was having a heart attack, but instead needed surgery to replace an aortic valve, related to the murmur.

Mike had been attending Otterbein United Methodist Church, Kim’s family church, since they got married. He continued to play in their softball league and was a member of the Steeple People class, but started going to Covenant Life Church, which his brother attended.

“That church certainly changed my husband,” Kim said. “It changed his morals, his values, his way of life, his love for God. He realized what that meant now.”

Mike had a special connection with Pastor Tim Fisher.

“You would never meet a kinder or gentler man than Mike,” Tim said. “He had just an amazing smile and infectious, positive attitude. He exuded the love of Christ. He had a special gift of making you feel part of his family right away.”

Several years ago, Mike got involved with the weekly boys’ ministry called Royal Rangers.

“Everybody loved him. He was a special guy,” Tim said. “Mike’s presence is very much missed. He was definitely the heart of ministry to boys on Wednesday night. He was a tremendous encourager.”

Tim said Mike was like a father, friend and brother all rolled into one.

“It was probably the hardest funeral, and I’ve done a lot,” he said.

Mike had been having some memory loss, his energy level was down and his sleep patterns had been disrupted. It took about a month for him to be diagnosed with glioblastoma, a brain tumor, in March 2012.

The tumor was inoperable and the medication seemed to be helping until about six weeks before his death. Throughout his illness, Mike remained positive.

“He handled it very well,” Kim said. “He’s got a lot of faith.”

During Mike’s illness, Jeff Harp, one of the dealers at Remember When Antiques, volunteered to manage the shop for the Shinglers. Jeff and Kim were both 1975 South High graduates and Mike graduated with Jeff’s wife a year later, although Jeff said he didn’t really know Mike in high school.

Their friendship started when the Shinglers first opened their shop.

“It’s been a lot of fun ever since, one big long friendship,” Jeff said. “We considered them our family. We were close. It’s still hard to talk about it.”

Kim said Mike didn’t have any pain and died at their St. James North home while under hospice care.

Amber said more than 550 people attended her father’s viewing and more came, but didn’t stay because there was no place to park.

The couple owned two West Highland white terriers, known as Westies. Bridget was a “shop dog,” Kim said, and after she died, it took a lot of convincing to get Mike to agree to getting Annabelle.

“He didn’t want to have to go through losing another one, and now, he won’t have to,” Kim said.

Editor’s note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail runs “A Life Remembered.” Each story in this continuing series takes a look back — through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others — at a member of the community who died recently. Today’s “A Life Remembered” is about Michael L. Shingler, who died June 15 at the age of 56. His obituary was published in the June 18 edition of The Herald-Mail.

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