Family-Placed Death Notice

SHIPLEY, Mike Our world lost a vast source of unconditional love and positive energy, with the death of Mike Shipley (of Lawrenceville, Georgia) on September 3, 2013, following several weeks of critical illness. He spent his entire career in the cemetery and funeral industry involved in management, training, developing, mentoring and encouraging managers, associates and staff to achieve their professional and personal goals. Providing true service to families was always of paramount importance to him. His career began in the family business at Jacksonville Memory Gardens in Orange Park, Florida in 1970, and he also spent two years in Maryland working with his great friend, Richard Cody. He joined Service Corporation International in 1987, and worked for several years in various regional management positions across the southeast. He was sales manager at Arlington Memorial Park beginning in 2002. In January 2012, he shifted responsibilities to Eternal Hills Memory Gardens and Floral Hills Memory Gardens, which would allow him more time for employee development and special company projects throughout Metro Atlanta. Mike was involved in professional organizations, including the Florida Cemetery Association (President and Board Member), American Cemetery Association (Vice-President, Board Member and the Silver Member Award for 25 years of membership). He earned the distinction of Certified Cemetery Executive. Michael John Shipley was born on June 8, 1946 to Ralph Hawkins Shipley and Clare Doherty Shipley in Oak Park, Illinois. He spent his childhood and teenage years in Mission, Kansas. His late older brother, Dick Shipley, helped raise Mike after their father died in 1960. Mike graduated from Kansas State University in 1968. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity (President, Pledge Chairman), KSU Marching Band (first trumpet, herald trumpet), Student Senate, and R.O.T.C. Throughout his life, Mike continued to be an enthusiastic supporter of Kansas State athletics and the KSU band. He attended the KU - K-State football game each fall with his friends. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1968 and spent two years in the Army, including a year of service as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army in the Mekong Delta. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his meritorious service in a combat zone. He became a Lifetime Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #2681 Marietta, Georgia. In 1970 he married his college sweetheart, Marie Williams, and their beloved daughter Marisa Claire was born in 1973. He was always so very proud and supportive of their careers and their accomplishments. Living in Florida, Maryland and Georgia, they were members of several Episcopal churches and Mike served on three church vestries. He has been a Eucharistic Minister, Lay Reader, and recently completed Stephens Ministry training. Additional survivors include his mother-in-law Ruth Williams; sisters-in-law Gloria Shipley and Laura Curtis (Scott); nieces Vicki Palmer, Terri Kreps (Kim) and Annette Gallop (Paul); nephews Rick Shipley (Joni), John Shipley (Robin), Tom Curtis, and Eric Curtis (Shea); and his beloved granddogs, Brodie and Baylee. His unconditional love also extended to numerous close friends and they have been a great comfort in his illness. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 10 o'clock at St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church, Brookhaven, Georgia. The family will receive friends Friday, September 6, 2013 from 4 until 8 o'clock at H. M. Patterson and Son, Spring Hill. Mike was passionate about giving back so for those wishing to honor Mike's life and memory, the family suggests donations be made to the KSU Foundation, Mike Shipley Memorial, 2323 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502 or Positive Bounds, Inc., a non-profit organization, started by his goddaughter, that funds after school activities for low-income children. Please visit the website www.positive-bounds.org or mail donations to Positive Bounds, Inc. 3138 Idlewood Street, North Port, FL 34287. Online condolences may be made at www.hmpattersonspringhill.com

Funeral Home

H.M. Patterson & Son-Spring Hill Chapel
1020 Spring Street NW Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 876-1022

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sept. 5, 2013