SHIPMAN, Ruth E. 88, passed away peacefully in Lutz, Jan. 31, 2013, in her daughter Monica's home where she had lived her last few years. Her son Todd also helped to provide daily love and companionship. Born and raised in Ohio, she met her husband Neil while both attending Ohio State University. They lived in Germany while in the Air Force. Once back in the states they opened a Veterinary Animal practice in Ohio and then moved as a family to St. Petersburg. In the late 1970s, they moved their practice to Highlands, NC, which became their favorite home for over 25 years and a much loved community. Ruth completed her degree in 1975 from The University of South Florida College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Ruth was an avid reader and used her skills to help research, develop and belong to support groups to meet the many challenges that came along her way. One of her strongest accomplishments was starting the Association of Children with Learning Disabilities in the late 1960s throughout the St. Petersburg area. Once her blindness developed due to a late diagnosis of glaucoma, she was determined to stay as positive as possible and took several training classes, eventually starting a support group in Highlands, NC for Visually Impaired Persons. She continued a relationship with this organization while living in Naples and Tampa. Many caring and loving volunteers helped promote her strength and independence along the way. Ruth loved gardening, singing in many chorus groups and found a way to support others in any way she could. She has made a big difference in the lives of those who benefited from the support groups she started and was a part of. She was a wonderful listener, always wanted to know more about our world around us, was a strong role model for sharing her zest to learn more, and gave her family much love. She was preceded in death by husband Neil T. Shipman, brother Bill Beaumont, daughter in law Mary Shipman, granddaughter Donna Eisenworth, and survived by children, Monica Gouge of Tampa, Wynne Simpson (and husband Tom) of Boulder, CO and Todd Shipman of Tampa; grandaughters, Jana Diaz and Brenna Hindman; along with several nieces, nephews and cousins. All children were able to share their love during her end of life. A private family service was held.
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Feb. 21, 2013