HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A philanthropist and trailblazer in industry in West Virginia has died. The family or Robert L. Shell Jr. says he died December 6th in Huntington at the age of 80.
Bob Shell Jr, as he was known to many, was Chairman and CEO of Guyan International and Permco. Shell helped lead the company which set new standards in the area of hydraulic manufacturing. Shell helped expand Permco into an international leader in the industry with more than 500 employees across the U.S., Africa, Switzerland, and China.
He was also a trusted political advisor to many in West Virginia and played prominent roles in the transition of power with five West Virginia governors, most notably Joe Manchin and Bob Wise. He was also a trusted business advisor to many in West Virginia politics.
Shell was a longtime benefactor to Marshall University. He previously served as Chairman of the Marshall Board of Governors. He was also a strong supporter of the city of Huntington , the United Way, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Shell’s significant philanthropic efforts were recognized through prestigious accolades, including inductions into the Huntington Wall of Fame and the Business Halls of Fame at both Marshall University and WVU.
Among his survivors are his wife Lena Ji Shell and his five children. Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, December 14, 2023, at Christ Temple Church, Huntington, W.Va. entombment will follow at Spring Hill Cemetery.