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He grew up in Ava and graduated Ava High School Harrison Edward Shipman (“Harry” or “Ship”), Lt. Col. USAF, Ret., 87, passed away Friday, Feb. 8, 2008.
Harry Shipman was born Oct. 23, 1920, in Tarkio, Mo. to Henry T. Shipman and Delpha B. Breshears Shipman. He grew up in Ava, Mo. and graduated Ava High School.
Harry attended Drury College, Springfield, Mo. in 1939, and Bakersfield College in 1940. He graduated from U.S. Army Air Corp Cadet School, Luke Field, Phoenix, Ariz. in 1941. He served his country with distinction as a fighter pilot and achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel at age 24, and first Squadron Commander of the 458th Fighter Squadron. He flew P-51 Mustangs, and among his stations were Panama guarding the Canal Zone and Iwo Jima, escorting bombers and flying fighter missions over Japan. Among his achievements, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with one cluster and Air Medal with three oak clusters and several campaign ribbons and unit citations. Also known as “Ship,” Ship continued his military career in the Reserves and retired in 1980.
Harry met Elizabeth “Betty” Cleator in Tuscon in 1941, while Betty was a senior at the University of Arizona. They kept in touch during World War II and married April 12, 1946, in Las Cruces, N.M.
Harry spent 10 years in the Carolinas as an entrepreneur with his father and brothers before moving and accepting a motor freight executive position with Chief Freight Lines in 1956, in Fort Worth, which was to become his life long home, aside from a few years as a Vice President with Chief in Tulsa, Okla.
In Fort Worth, Harry was past President of Eastside Kiwanis, a member of Meadowbrook Methodist, then First United Methodist Church where he enjoyed his volunteer work, Masonic Lodge 925, 32nd degree Scottish Mason, Moslah Temple Shrine Patrol, Royal Order of Jesters Court No. 32, the Glen Garden Country Club, Colonial Country Club, then Woodhaven Country Club, Petroleum Club, and Carousel Dance Club.
He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Lt. Col. Leonard Shipman; older brother, Bob Shipman and his parents.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Betty, of almost 62 years; son, Jimmy Shipman and wife, Jana, of Richardson; daughter, Jeannie Hammann, of Dallas; granddaughters, Jacy Shipman and Nicole Hammann, both of Dallas; and grandson, Peter Hammann of Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, Texas.
Celebration of life services: 2 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park, and visitation: 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Greenwood Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Moslah Hospital Fund, P.O. Box 1320, Fort Worth, Texas 76101.