Gene Shay Memorial Scholarship Fund
Gene Shay was born in Edgemont, South Dakota on 7 August 1922. His family moved to Mobridge, South Dakota in 1937 where he graduated from Mobridge High School in 1940. During World War II he served in the United States Navy as a signalman. After World War II he returned to Mobridge and worked with his father at Shay Oil Company, which his father had started in the 1930’s.
In 1947 he married Barbara Caldwell from Mobridge. He and Barbara had two sons, James and Daniel. After too many cold South Dakota winters, Gene and Barbara and their two sons arrived in Yuma, Arizona in the summer of 1961.
Shay Oil Company Inc. in Yuma began with one location in 1961. The company had the first self-serve gas station in Yuma. At the time of Gene Shay’s death from a heart attack on 3 February 1983, the family business was in the process of converting a service bay station into their first convenience store.
Daniel Shay became President of Shay Oil Company Inc. in 1983, to become the third generation to lead the family business, which has grown to 19 locations throughout Yuma County as of 2013. To honor the legacy of the business acumen, integrity, and pioneering expertise of Gene Shay, his son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Bobbi Shay, have established the Gene Shay Memorial Scholarship.