Shad Ray Myers, age 48, passed away Friday evening, September 25, 2020, from injuries received in a motorcycle accident.
Shad was born October 9, 1971, in Portsmouth, Virginia, at the naval hospital, the son of Sidney and Gayla (Collier) Myers. He graduated from Anamosa High School at mid-term in 1990, and immediately enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He was an Aviation Mechanic and Crew Chief on the CH-53E Super Stallion, with 1100 flight hours, and served in Operation Desert Storm. He was part of the first Unit Deployment Program (UDP) of the Super Stallions to Okinawa, Japan, October 1991 – May 1992, and deployed on the USS Belleau Wood in 1992 with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Shad served in the Marine Corps for five years, before enlisting in the Iowa Army National Guard, where he was a Senior Aircraft Mechanic / Flight Engineer on the CH-47D/F Chinook, with 3550 flight hours, and a Mechanic and Crew Chief on the LUH-72A Lakota, with 150 flight hours, at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Mt Joy. He served overseas training missions to Guyana in 1997, Paraguay in 2001, and two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom (February 2003 – June 2004 and November 2010 – November 2011) in Iraq, where he flew over 900 combat hours. He had 4800 total flight hours in the Marine Corps and Army, including around 1050 flight hours with Night Vision. Shad was promoted to Master Sergeant in March of this year. Among his extensive list of missions over the years, two held special personal importance to Shad: flying with the chinook crew which transported the Hale Bridge to his hometown in Anamosa; and flying nearly every year with the chinook crew to the Annual Anamosa Veterans Day Assembly at Anamosa High School. He completed nine courses during his Army career, two of which included a total of six phases for completion. He was most proud of the CH-47D/F Flight Engineer Instructor Course. A complete list of Shad’s Marine Corps and Army awards and decorations are included below.
Shad married his wife, Jamie, on May 31, 2014, in Kalona, Iowa. With her two daughters and his two children, they became the full Myers bunch. Although he had many hobbies that he enjoyed, his titles of husband and father were the most important to him. Shad enjoyed teaching all of his kids the intricacies of fixing things (he could fix anything), flying things and playing sports. He attended every band concert, baseball game, football game, gymnastics meet, volleyball game, track meet, softball game, soccer game, and musical that his work schedule would allow. He was especially proud to attend his son’s graduation from the United States Marine Corps bootcamp in 2018.
Shad had his A & P (Airframe and Powerplant) Iowa license and recently started Myers Aircraft Repair Service, through which he performed annual aircraft inspections and other maintenance work on private planes, including his own Grumman Tiger, which he refurbished. His customers were almost exclusively word of mouth, yet he had trouble keeping up with the numerous requests and referrals he received, due to both his meticulous work and his work ethic.
Shad’s favorite place to be was in the clouds. Although he flew frequently for work, he had his private pilot’s license and spent as much time as his wife would allow in the sky. Whether it was flying his family or friends to dinner in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, or planning the next family vacation to any location with a small airport, Shad loved it. He and his wife took several long trips in the Grumman to places throughout the United States, but one of his favorite trips was flying over the mountains to Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. He also volunteered with Pilots N Paws, flying rescued animals to their new homes or adoption locations.
Although Shad and his wife were the quintessential example of opposites attract, their shared love (other than for each other) was for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He also loved the great outdoors and always looked forward to his annual fishing trips to North Dakota and hunting seasons in Anamosa with his best friends. Shad was an avid Chicago Cubs fan and as the ultimate tribute, his wife and his best friend chose to lay him to rest in his 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series Champion t-shirt.
Shad touched the lives of so many, which has been extremely evident to his close family and friends in the last few days. He will be greatly missed here on Earth, but could be in no more fitting place than flying amongst the clouds. In the words of a friend, he was the type of person that many strive to be.
A public visitation will be held from 3:00 through 8:00 Thursday, October 1, 2020, at the Goettsch Funeral Home, Anamosa. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 Friday afternoon, October 2, 2020, at the Army Aviation Support Facility, 9650 North Harrison St., Davenport, IA. Interment will be in the Riverside Cemetery, Anamosa, with military honors presented by the United States Marine Corp and the United States Army. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Pilots N Paws or University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, masks will be required at the visitation and the family respectfully requests that masks be worn at the funeral as well.
Shad is survived by his wife, Jamie; four children, Lauryn Myers, LCpl Cade Myers, United States Marine Corps, Tatum Trueblood, and Maggie Trueblood; parents, Sidney and Gayla Myers; fraternal grandmother, Bonnie Bauer; sister, Cassie (Rob) Nichols, nephews Gabe Fisher, Nash Fisher, Jeremy LaCour, and Nicholas LaCour; brother Walter (Jodi) Myers, nephews Carter, Hayden, and Cooper, and niece Sydney; father- and mother-in-law Marlin and June Miller; and sister-in-law Shonda (Mike) Hershberger, nephew London and niece Camden. Shad loved his family and had an especially close relationship with his Grandma Bonnie.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents Preston “Jigger” Myers, John Bauer and Joanne Collier Young.
Awards and Decorations: Navy and Marine Corps Medal (NMCM), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NAM), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (MCGCM), Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (awarded 2x) (NSSDR), Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (NMUC), Navy Unit Commendation (NUC), Naval Aircrew Wings, Air Medal (awarded 3x) (AM), Army Commendation Medal (awarded 5x) ARCOM, Army Achievement Medal (awarded 2x), Army Good Conduct Medal (AGCM), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (awarded 5x) (ARCAM), National Defense Service Medal (awarded 2x) (NDSM), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (awarded 2x) (AFRM), NCO Professional Development Ribbon (awarded 3x) (NOPDR), Overseas Service Ribbon (awarded 3x) (OSR), Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon (awarded 3x) (ARCOT), Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device (awarded 2x) (AFRM), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWTEM), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWTSM), Iraq Campaign Medal (w/4 Campaign Stars), Valorous Unit Award (VUA), Meritorious Unit Citation (MUC), Army Master Aviation Badge (Master Wings), Combat Action Badge