TRM’s new park honors two rescue mission members who passed away

The park offers an outdoor eating area for those experiencing homelessness.
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 6:32 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A new outdoor park honors two Topeka Rescue Mission staff members for their dedication to the mission.

The new Shinkle / Stutzman memorial park, created in honor of Mike Shinkle and Steve Stutzman, was dedicated Friday.

LaManda Broyles, the Rescue Mission director, says both men dedicated their lives to helping TRM before they passed away.

“I would just like to thank everyone who came out today, even though this is something that is connected to the Topeka Rescue Mission,” Broyles said. “We really strive to be a service for the community, and so, even though it is something we are doing, and it is something that is connected to our building. Really our message is to say how we are trying to love those in front of us and we are trying to create a place of refuge for those who might be experiencing troubles. We can do that everywhere throughout our community.”

Mike served as the head of food service for 20 years and Steve participated in various roles during his time with TRM.

Steve was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2021 and passed away May 2022 after his battle with cancer. Mike passed in November 2020 after fighting the COVID-19 virus.

The two spouses of the men Kim Shinkle (Mike’s wife) and Rachel Stutzman (Steve’s wife) said this was a special honor call for both families.

“This is where it was birthed out of, just to start thinking if there was a place outside that we could serve people, have a window from the kitchen, then we can still give them hot meals, and so it just... it means everything, it is such a huge blessing to our family and just honors mike in what he really desired here at Topeka Rescue Mission,” said Kim Shinkle.

“Well, it is a real blessing and just an honoring of Steve, and we are honored because he is honored. It is a way of having a more permanent memory to him and to his best friend mike. I think it is so fitting that they are both being remembered together. They were buddies in pretty much everything,” said Rachel Stutzman.

The park is behind the main TRM building at 600 N Kansas Ave.