Robert James Shippee Sr., 95, of Gardner, Kan, passed away peacefully Friday, September 23, 2016 at Vintage Park Assisted Living in Gardner, Kan.
Bob was born August 13, 1921 in North Kansas City, Mo. His family lived at Winwood Lake, Mo for a few years and later moved to a farm in Holt, Mo, where he graduated from Holt High School. Mr. Shippee entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 to receive flight training. Upon graduating from flight training, Lieutenant Shippee and his squadron, the 414th Fighter Group, were assigned to duty on Guam, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Philippines, Tinian. While serving in the Pacific Theatre, Lieutenant Shippee flew P-51’s and P-47 fighter aircraft.
Bob joined the Air Force Reserve in 1956 and was stationed at Olathe Naval Air Station and later Richards Gebaur Air Force Base in Grandview, Missouri. At Richards Gebaur, Captain Shippee was a member of the 442nd Troop Carrier Wing, 304 Troop Carrier Squadron. Captain Shippee was a Command Pilot and flew frequent missions to the Azores, Germany, Japan, South America, Spain, and Vietnam, as well as humanitarian missions within the United States. Before his retirement from the Air Force in 1975, Bob achieve the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Lieutenant Shippee married Corporal JoAnn Wood on April 7, 1945, in Cherry Point, N.C. After his service, Bob and Jo returned to Holt, Mo. In 1948, the Shippees purchased a farm in Edgerton, Kansas, where they raised three sons, Jim, Bill and Jon. They later moved to Gardner, Kansas, where he lived until his death. Bob continued to operate his farm on a daily basis with his son Jon until the past few years of his life. Bob and Jo Shippee operated Prairie Printing Company in Gardner, owned the Johnson County Herald newspaper in Mission, and were supporting partners in Shawnee Copy Center in Shawnee, Kan.
Robert is a lifetime member of the Gardner American Legion Post 0019, Gardner VFW Post 11234, Quiet Birdmen, Edgerton Masonic Lodge, 442nd Reserve Officer Association, First Presbyterian Church of Gardner, Truman Library Institute, Gardner Lyons Club, and Gardner Masonic Lodge, where he received a 60-year award and served as secretary from 1979 until 1994.
Bob is survived by his three sons: Jim Shippee (Georgia) of Gardner, Bill Shippee (Sheri) of Shawnee, and Jon Shippee (Sherry) of Shawnee; four granddaughters, Kara Shippee Manqueros (Ken), Sheena Shippee (Joel), Jessica Shippee McDaniel (Drew), and Brooke Shippee; one grandson, Wesley Siebert; and seven great-grandchildren, Matthew, Tyler, Meghan, Soren, Magnolia, Heidi and Eloise. Private graveside services will be arranged at later date.
To honor his life, a visitation will be held October 7, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church, 138 East Shawnee, Gardner, Kanbob-shippee, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, with a tribute beginning at 7:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Gardner.