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Robert Butler Shipp

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Bob was born March 28 in Battle Creek, Michigan to Robert T. and Alice B. Shipp. He attended elementary and high school in Scarsdale, New York. He graduated from Albion College in Michigan with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics. Bob won physics and chemistry awards in both high school and college. He was active in student leadership serving as a high school class president, his college fraternity president and student body president in college. Heeding the call, "Go west, young man", Bob attended University of Washington receiving a Master's Degree in Mathematics Education. He began his 20-year career in education teaching math on Mercer Island. He served as Principal of Mercer Island High School in the early 1970's before becoming Assistant Superintendent of Mercer Island School District. In 1980, the family moved to Bellingham and Bob fulfilled a long-time dream to work on energy projects. His company, Sumas Mountain Power, built and operated two small hydroelectric projects in Whatcom County. Bob greatly appreciated the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. He was especially fond of Sinclair Island in the San Juan Islands which reminded him of his boyhood summers on Squam Lake, New Hampshire. His lifelong leisure pursuits were hiking, tennis, golf and bridge. Bob was a lifetime member of the Christian Science church. He served on the Bellingham Festival of Music board and also established trusts preserving land for public benefit. Robert "Bob" Shipp is survived by his wife of 50 years, Celeste; children Christine Kiekhaefer (spouse Phil), Rebecca Smith (spouse Scott) and Sam Shipp (spouse Anne); six grandchildren, Slater, Jake, Wyatt, Kate, Claire and Ted; and his sister Marcy Elliott (spouse Bob). Bob had a bold, adventurous, and noble spirit. He will be remembered with great respect and love.

Published in Bellingham Herald on Jan. 19, 2014
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