David C. Shinen

David C. Shinen

December 24, 1932 ~ May 18, 2021

David C. Shinen died on May 18, 2021 in Portland Oregon.

David was born in Los Angeles, CA December 24, 1932. David graduated from high school in Los Angeles and then attended Bible Institute of Los Angeles, now Biola University, graduating in 1955. 

He married Marilene (Mitzi) Bergen in August of 1954, and together they joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1955. After attending survival training in the jungles of Mexico and two arctic survival trainings in Nenana, Dave and Mitzi accepted the assignment to translate the New Testament for the Yupik people of St. Lawrence Island and Russian Far East.

The Shinens arrived in Gambell on St. Lawrence Island in 1959 with their young children Deborah and David. Daughter Dorothy joined the family in 1960. In total, the Shinens spent 56 years in western Alaska, 43 years in Gambell and 13 years in Nome.

The unique challenge of translating to the Yupik language was that half of the speakers of the language are in the U.S. where we use the Roman alphabet and the other half is in Russian Far East and use the Cyrillic alphabet. This is one thing that attracted Dave to this language since his parents were from Russian ancestors and Russian was spoken in his childhood home. That basic knowledge benefited the Shinens later as they worked on getting the translation in to the Cyrillic alphabet. 

David is survived by his spouse, Mitzi of Portland, OR and his sister, Natasha Dobrenen of Los Angeles. Also, his son David J. (Lynne), Deb (Mike) Lundeen, and Dorothy Brewer, as well as three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Dave wholeheartedly loved the Lord, he loved God’s Word, he loved his wife of nearly 67 years and his family. God’s grace was a guideline for his interactions with people. He believed that we are all fellow strugglers and treated people with love, dignity and respect. Dave was regarded as a father-figure and a counselor to many, investing himself in the lives of others. He was quick to go to the Bible where truth and wisdom can be found for every life situation. He was a man of integrity, consistent and trustworthy. He maintained a humble heart throughout his life-calling, pointing to God first and giving Him the glory for any victory or accomplishment. 

Dave will be missed by his family and friends and remembered for his creative mind and sense of humor. We grieve his loss but not without the confidence of seeing him again.

There will be a Celebration of Life Service at 2 p.m. on July 20, 2021 at SW Bible Church, 14605 SW Weir Rd, Beaverton, OR 97007. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators, PO Box 628211, Orlando, FL 32862-8211.

The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112


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