William R. “Bill” Shipperley, Sr., age 82 years formerly of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 1:04 p.m. on Friday, December 21, 2018 at Spectrum Lakeland Medical Center in Saint Joseph, Michigan following a brief illness.
He was born on May 27, 1936 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois to George H. and Jean (diBlasio) Shipperley. The Shipperley family followed George’s military career, moving to Texas, California, and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan before settling in Niles. Bill was graduated from Niles High School, and enlisted in the United States Navy. He served in the Fleet Air Service, including time onboard the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, and was Honorably Discharged from peacetime duty. Back in Niles he became successful in home remodeling, owning and operating Shipp’s Home Improvement. He moved to Buchanan, Michigan in 2017.
Bill was a member of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Buchanan, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Father Allouez Council #708 in Niles. He was an excellent percussionist, playing drums in the country/western style most of his life, and once played in the band for a concert by Loretta Lynn. He was also proficient on the organ and harmonica. As a young man he enjoyed playing basketball and softball, enjoyed swimming and boating, and later coached a KC basketball team. He lived for a while on Mackinac Island, Michigan where he was employed at the Grand Hotel Golf Course. He collected transportation destination stickers from airlines, trucking, and shipping.
Above all, Bill was a people person. He never met a stranger, striking-up a conversation with anyone, and genuinely enjoyed visiting with friends. His family remembers his great example to them, and to the next generation.
On July 8, 1962 in Las Vegas, Nevada he married the former Carol Ann Johnson with whom he celebrated the fortieth anniversary of their wedding just days prior to her death on July 28, 2002.
Surviving family includes their children, William Shipperley, Jr. of Buchanan and Susan (& John) O’Brien of South Bend, Indiana; grandchildren Alexis O’Brien and Shane O’Brien; Bill, Sr.’s brother, George (& Lois) Shipperley, Jr. of Aurora, Illinois and their children, Lori, Leanne, and Lynn; and a wonderful circle of great friends.
The Mass of Christian Burial for William Shipperley, Sr. will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 24, 2018 at Saint Anthony Catholic Church, 509 West Fourth Street in Buchanan by the Rev. Fr. Leo Cartagena of the parish. Immediately following the Mass, the United States Navy Honor Guard will perform the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” just outside of the church entry. Committal Rites will be read at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at the graveside in Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles by the Rev. Fr. Christian Johnston of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Monday, at the church, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Contributions in memory of Bill may be made to the Niles Veterans Memorial at Riverfront Park, c/o Niles City Hall, 333 North Second Street, Niles, Michigan 49120; http://www.nilesmi.org. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles
Niles Riverfront Veteran's Memorial
c/o Niles City Hall, 333 North Second Street, Niles MI 49120