Mary Holle For the Daily Union
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — The city of Shelbyville lost one of its most ardent supporters Friday when Mayor Roy Shuff died after a battle with cancer.
First elected Shelbyville mayor in 2007, Shuff served in that office until his death.
An enthusiastic supporter of many projects, Shuff took part in the Sister City Program with Okuwa, Japan, hosting visitors from that city in Shelbyville and making a trip to Japan in 2008. He also worked to keep International Paper in Shelbyville, welcomed several new businesses into the community and was an advocate of the Downtown Streetscape Project and the Mini Park.
And his love for his hometown shone bright and true through all the projects, committees and activities that Shuff was a part of, whether for the city, his church or one of the organizations where he was a very valued member.
It's a testament to the way he lived his life that the members of the community when talking about Shuff use the same words over and over -- enthusiastic, dedicated, honest, good, funny, intelligent, dependable.
Bill Shoaff has known Roy Shuff all his life. “He was born and raised here, same as me,” Shoaff said. “He just loved Shelbyville, and anything to do with kids and sports.”
Shoaff, who previously served as mayor of Shelbyville and now serves as a commissioner on the city council, has worked alongside Shuff on many committees and projects. “He was very good to work with, very community minded. Anytime he couldn’t attend a meeting or event, he always called and made sure someone would cover it for him. He always made sure everything was covered.”
One of Shoaff’s most vivid memories of Shuff is when the two men were part of group who took visitors from Japan to Chicago on the train to see the city and enjoy a Cubs baseball game. The day turned out to be an adventure. After the group left the train and walked down State Street, they witnessed a mugging, a police chase and an accident. “Roy often brought that (trip) up,” said Shoaff. “It was a very memorable experience and he would always laugh about it.”
Dave Mills attended church with Shuff at the First United Methodist Church in Shelbyville. “He (Shuff) was really a good friend, a good person. There was nothing bad about him,” Mills said. Except, Mills added with a chuckle, Shuff could always stretch a triple into a single on the softball field. The two men were members of the softball team. "It was a thing between us. The joke was Roy and I could hit a ball a mile and just make it to first base. We were pretty slow," Mills said.
Shuff was owner of Shelbyville Insurance Services, and Mills said his knowledge of insurance was invaluable to all the committees he worked on and, Mills said, as a businessman “he was very straight up,” a man easy to trust.
Shuff also was known for having a good sense of humor. “He was always good for a laugh,” Mills said. “He always made you feel comfortable no matter what.”
Mills added that Shuff always volunteered to help with the Christmas meal served by the church each year to those who are alone on Christmas.
Mills also worked with Shuff on projects through the Shriners, and he remembers Shuff as always willing to offer a helping hand. “If you needed someone, he was there. He was just a warrior.”
Mills’ thoughts on Shuff could be wrapped up with one telling comment. “He’s just someone who would always have your back. He’s just good people.”
A complete obituary for Mr. Shuff can be found on page 3A.