George Michael Shoup (Mike) passed away on July 8, 2021 at his home in Brenham, Texas at the age of 89.
Born to bring a smile, a laugh or a gasp of astonishment to every person he encountered, Mike Shoup spent his life engaging others. Big Mike never met a stranger. With an overabundance of charisma, personality and an infectious laugh he filled every room he entered. It was said if he set foot into a room of quiet conversation, he instantly stirred up a frenzy of excitement. If he entered a room of arguments and problems, he soothed the situation. Larger than life, Mike was one of a kind. People did not forget him.
George Michael Shoup was born on February 10, 1932, to George Lawrence Shoup and Corelli Nelson Shoup in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, home of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway. During his high school years at Oak Park High, he developed an interest in drama and art. He performed a lead role in Gilbert and Sullivan’s, The Pirates of Penzance and played Edward MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor on stage during his senior year. In 1950, upon entering Grinnell College in Iowa, Mike abruptly dropped piano playing and gained a position on the Grinnell football team. He then had a more dramatic epiphany when he met Nancy Long, a freshman girl with whom he would spend the next seventy years of his life. They were married that year and together traveled to Texas where they both enrolled at the University of Houston to finish their educations.
Mike received a B. S. degree, majoring in accounting and business from the University of Houston in 1954. He began his career as an accountant at Peat, Marwick & Mitchell followed by employment as controller at Pipeline Technologists, Inc. in 1956. His unique abilities quickly took him to a position of management. He retired in 1985 as Chief Executive Officer of Kaneb Services, Inc. which started as Pipeline Technologists and grew through the acquisition of numerous related businesses. Mike played a key role during this period of the company’s growth. Included in his accomplishments with Kaneb was the creation of a state of the art hunting resort for employees and guests of the company. Known as Rancho de los Jefes in Falfurrias, Texas, the resort was popular enough to host the astronauts in the 1970s. Around 1990, he and some friends bought Hill’s Pier 19 on the Strand in Galveston, Texas and Mike became a restaurant owner and manager for eleven years.
Throughout the years in Houston, he and Nancy had four children and raised their family in Spring Branch, Texas. Mike, David, Julie and Peter graduated from Westchester High in the Spring Branch School District where Nancy was employed as a speech pathologist. Supporting the Houston Symphony and Opera, as well as sponsoring a teen project group, were among the many philanthropic endeavors Mike was involved with during these years.
In 1969 Mike purchased property in Washington County, beginning fifty years of life in Brenham, Texas. Throughout his life Mike had a passion for designing and building which culminated in the creation of his dream home, Lost Meadow Acres, on a beautiful secluded post oak savannah in northwest Washington County. He thrived on entertaining family and friends, and especially enjoyed weekly luncheons with the Poets, a close group of friends determined to solve all of the world’s problems. During the Brenham years he and Nancy hosted numerous social events in their homes. These events included many in generous support of various community groups, including the Brenham Children’s’ Chorus (co-founder), The Boys and Girls Club (fund raiser for the present building), The Independence Historical Society (treasurer for many years) and Unity Theatre (financial support and show sponsor).
Mike had a special love for his little Yorkie, Beau. He enjoyed watching the deer feed in his pastures. Birds and butterflies flocked to his gardens of roses from the Antique Rose Emporium owned by his eldest son, Mike Shoup, Jr. He further indulged his passion for wildlife and animals by participation in the Wildlife Management Program in Washington County.
Mike is survived by his wife, Nancy Gay Long Shoup; his son, George Michael Shoup, Jr. and wife, Jean Freeland Shoup, of Independence, Texas; son, David Long Shoup of Independence, Texas; daughter, Juliet Gay Baker and husband, Kenneth Baker, of Chattanooga, Tennessee; son, Peter Lawrence Shoup and wife, Cheryl Kane Shoup, of San Antonio Texas; eight grandchildren, Kelly Anderson and husband, Dr. Jared Anderson, of College Station, Texas; Randy Shoup and wife, Hana Studer Shoup, of Denver Colorado; Nicholas Shoup of Brenham, Texas; Eric Baker and wife, Amanda Smith Baker, of Sydney, Australia; Jeffrey Baker and wife, Lexie Schmidt Baker, of Denver, Colorado; Natalie Shoup of New York City, New York; Hannah Shoup and Lindsay Shoup, both of Boston, Massachusetts; and five great grandchildren, Jared Anderson, Julia Anderson and Jesse Anderson of College Station, Texas; Everett Baker and Bennett Baker of Sydney, Australia. He is also survived by two brothers, Craig Shoup and wife, Cindy, of Overland Park, Kansas; Stefan Shoup and wife, Jane, of Wisconsin; his cousin-in-law, Norma Hanson of California; as well as numerous other cousins, nephews and nieces.
There will be a visitation at Memorial Oaks Chapel on Sunday, July 11 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and a Celebration of Life at the Antique Rose Emporium to be scheduled later in the fall of 2021. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Brazos Valley Hospice, Brenham Children’s Chorus, Brenham Boys and Girls Club, Unity Theatre or the Independence Historical Society.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833. To post a tribute to the family, visit www.memorialoakschapel.com.