Lauren Miller Shoaf

by Lynn McMillen
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Lauren Miller Shoaf died on Sunday, March 3rd in Millington, Tennessee.

Mr. Shoaf was born on October 27, 1951 in Ripley, Tennessee.

He spent much of his childhood on Shoaf’s Island, near Ripley and later attended Ripley High School, the Marion Institute, and Baylor.  Lauren was a highly gifted student and an exceptional athlete, receiving accolades in mathematics as well as football and track and field.

Following graduation, Lauren attended Vanderbilt University.

Lauren’s career focused on transportation industry. He specialized in leading ferry operations along the Mississippi River.  The river formed a central part of Mr. Shoaf’s life, and his knowledge of it was unsurpassed.

Being close to the river, Lauren spent much of his between New Orleans and Memphis – two cities which remained close to his heart throughout his life.

Mr. Shoaf had extensive knowledge of history, political philosophy, and mathematical theory.  He was largely self-taught in these subjects.  While Lauren had exceptional command of several academic topics, he placed great emphasis on physical labor and believed it to be the foundation of both a good life and a good society.

Lauren practiced his personal philosophy, working on his beloved Mississippi River and leading a simple but fulfilling life.  His older brother Forrest summed him up: “Lauren was fearless and born for a different time; if he’d have defended the Alamo, he would have inflicted more casualties on Santa Anna than Davy Crockett.”

Lauren is survived by his mother Elizabeth (Bette) Shoaf Anthony, his sister Elizabeth (Libba) Shoaf Burns (Mike), his brother Eugene (Gene) Anthony III, his daughter Rachel Elizabeth Shoaf, his son Matthew Shoaf, and grandchildren Julia Shoaf and Harrison Shoaf.

A reception will be held in remembrance of Lauren on Friday, March 15th at Immanuel Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 136 South Jefferson Street, Ripley, Tennessee (zip code 38063) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All are welcome.

The family requests donations to Immanuel Episcopal Church in lieu of flowers.  Donations can be made to Immanuel Episcopal Church at P.O. Box 513, Ripley, Tennessee, 38063.

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