Theodore D. Shinske, a longtime member of the Lenape Regional High School District Board of Education, died April 14, 2024, at the age of 83.

Known lovingly as “Ted” by his friends and family throughout his full and vibrant life, he was a loving son to the late Theodore W. Shinske and Burnis (Jennings), devoted husband to Bette B. (Best), a caring father to John and Jim (Lori), and a proud grandfather to JD, Jessica, Caroline (Thomas), Mike, and Tommy.

A talented athlete, he was known for his skills as a shortstop at Rancocas Valley High School, where he was inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame. Throughout the years he was an active member of his community, coaching his sons in baseball and soccer, and serving for over 21 years on the Lenape Regional High School Board of Education.

According to an article in The Trentonian, he represented Shamong Township on the board from April 1997 to December 2018 and was instrumental in many key initiatives, including the groundbreaking initiative of building Seneca High School. He served as board president from May 2011 to December 2013, when he was a part of several important initiatives, such as his role during many successful rounds of negotiations with the Lenape District’s collective bargaining units.

“Ted was an inspiration to others in his commitment to the Board of Education and every Lenape District student. His dedication to making the Lenape District great was visible at every Board meeting and every Board committee meeting that he attended,” said David Stow, a member of Lenape Regional High School Board of Education in a news release on the district’s website. (Stow served as board vice president during Shinske’s board president tenure.)

Shinske showed patience, resiliency and understanding adapting to the different leadership styles of each superintendent throughout his tenure on the board, starting with Dr. Daniel Hicks, continuing with Emily Capella, and then following with the current superintendent, Dr. Carol Birnbohm, the district stated.

“Mr. Shinske was the board president my first year as superintendent, and he provided me with an incredible amount of LRHSD history and support. He was a quiet, smart, generous and kind gentleman, who had a knack for seeing the big picture and getting others to see it as well,” said LRHSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol Birnbohm.

Another long-serving Board of Education Member, Dr. Robert Bende, will remember Mr. Shinske fondly. “I knew Ted prior to when we were on the board together,” he said. “So, I will miss him both as a dear friend and also as a board colleague.”

Shinske had a long career as an entrepreneur, owning and operating a series of hair styling businesses in the area, and an automobile transmission business in Vineland. He retired in 1994 when he sold The Locks Shop in Lake Pine. His career is reflective of his love of learning as he attended trade school and took other courses to ensure the success of each of his business endeavors. He also took lessons to earn a private pilot license, so that he could pursue flying as a hobby in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He loved spending time with his wife, watching his grandchildren’s activities, and playing with his dogs over the years: Cassie, Sultan, Daphne and Tina.

He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. His legacy of love, kindness, and community involvement will live on through his family and the many lives he touched.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his honor to: Indian Mills United Methodist Church, 89 Indian Mills Road, Shamong, NJ 08088 or any animal shelter of your choice.