Bob Shinn Sr..JPG

Bob Shinn opened the Feed Bucket at 325 W. Statesville Ave. 30 years ago.

He may have been an “old-time farmer,” but Bob Shinn, founder of the Feed Bucket in Mooresville, was no relic.

“He got hooked on Facebook the last few years,” said Melissa McCoige, who runs the office at the three-decade-old business at 325 W. Statesville Ave. “He’d say, ‘How do I respond to this?’ or ‘What should I do here?’”

Robert Taylor Shinn Sr., 72, of Mount Ulla, died Monday, Jan. 28, at Glenn A. Kiser Hospice House in Salisbury, a month after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

He grew up working on his family’s farm in Mount Ulla with his late father, Horace Shinn. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Appalachian State University, Shinn taught at West Rowan Junior High School, worked at Belk for many years and owned several businesses, including convenience stores, according to his obituary.

But the Feed Bucket would become Shinn’s signature enterprise.

He started the business 30 years ago as a “salvage” dog food outlet and Purina dealer. That’s still the primary function of the store, whose creaky floors and unmistakable feed aroma are reminders of the Feed Bucket’s roots.

“Anytime Harris Teeter decides they have overstock on pet food, they send it to us,” McCoige explained. “Then we sell it at a salvage price, which is usually about half price.”

Over the years, the Feed Bucket also has become a go-to outlet for over-the-counter pet medications, McCoige added.

“A lot of folks will call us when they can’t afford to take their pet to the vet,” she said.

Shinn’s son-in-law Jeremy Patterson took over day-to-day management of the store several years ago, but the founder remained a daily presence until his cancer diagnosis, McCoige noted.

“One day, he wasn’t acting right,” she recalled. “I made him go to the doctor. They did a brain scan and found out he had cancer.”

The throwback feel of Shinn’s store is a reflection of his pretense-free personality, McCoige said.

“Bob was just a solid, old-time farmer with a lot of knowledge about everything,” she explained.

Shinn was born May 27, 1946, in Salisbury to the late Ruby Miller Shinn and Horace Taylor Shinn. He graduated from West Rowan High School and Mitchell Community College before going to Appalachian State.

He loved classic cars and trucks, with his favorite being his Dodge Little Red Express, according to his obituary.

He enjoyed fishing, drinking coffee, and watching Duke basketball and Dallas Cowboys football games, as well as spending time with his four grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 36 years, Patty Sikes Shinn, in 2016, and his younger brother, Steve Shinn.

Surviving is his wife, Rita Taylor Shinn; daughter Amanda Shinn Patterson and husband Jeremy of Troutman; son Robert T. Shinn Jr. of Mooresville; and grandchildren Hunter, Patrick, Alaina, Jacob.

Shinn’s funeral service was Jan. 31 at Summersett Memorial Chapel in Salisbury, followed by his entombment at Rowan Memorial Park Mausoleum.

The full obituary is at

John Deem


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