Corbin Brooke Shays, 44, died on the evening of Jan. 4, 2011, after a courageous fight against brain cancer. He was at home in Mosier, Ore., surrounded by his wife and two children.
Born in Massachusetts on Nov. 11, 1966, to E. Michael Shays and Nancy Shurmon Shays, he was the youngest child of three. Corbin spent his childhood in New Canaan, Conn., and his youth in Hillsborough, Calif., graduating from Aragon High School in 1985. He attended Principia College, and graduated from Whitman College in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in history.
Corbin married Melissa Allen, of Morgan, Utah, in 2002. He worked in Portland and Hood River County as a builder and his work was recognized for its breakthrough design by the City of Portland.
An accomplished athlete, he learned how to windsurf on the Isle of Jersey, in the Channel Islands, and taught snow ski lessons in France and at Mt. Hood Meadows. He was also an avid road biker and kiter, and continued participating in these activities even during his illness and treatment with perseverance and patience.
Corbin was passionate about his love for mountains, living in Mosier and the view of the Gorge from his home. He explored the world, including hiking the Silk Road in Asia, but said that even after all his travels and the activities he was passionate about, he loved being a father best.
Corbin is survived by his wife, Melissa Allen Shays; his sons, Kai Oliver Shays, 4, and Tate Allen Shays, 1; his parents, Michael and Nancy Shays of Normandy Park, Wash.; his sisters and brothers-in-law, Timathea Shays Workman and Lyle Workman of Glendale, Calif., and Heather Shays Powell and Brooks Powell of Normandy Park, Wash.; his nephews and nieces, Devon Powell, Amanda Powell and Reed Powell, of Normandy Park, Wash., and Wyatt Shays Workman, of Glendale, Calif.; his in-laws, Ray and Amy Allen, of Morgan, Utah, and his brother-in-law, Chad Allen, of Morgan, Utah; and many close and supportive friends.
A celebration of Corbin’s life will take place Jan. 15 at Springhouse Cellar, 13 Railroad Ave., Hood River, at 1 p.m. There will be a benefit party that evening at 7 p.m. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers a memorial college fund has been established for Corbin’s children. Make checks payable to College America Kai Shays #82103608 Tate Shays #85362833 and mail to: Koenig Financial Group, FBO: Kai and Tate Shays, 120 Fifth Ave. S., Suite B, Edmonds, WA 98020.
Corbin lived to make the world a better place while he was in it. His life touched many and he will be remembered as a wonderful husband, father, son and brother, and loyal friend; a man with a great sense of humor, a graceful strength, and a thoughtful, generous nature. He is loved and will be missed.
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
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