Michael Mike John Mike Shipley

June 8, 1946September 3, 2013

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 or mail donations to Positive Bounds, Inc. 3138 Idlewood Street, North Port, FL 34287.


  • Visitation Friday, September 6, 2013
  • Memorial Service Saturday, September 7, 2013

Michael Mike John Mike Shipley

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Shari Reisman

September 14, 2013

I will deeply miss our friend, mentor and colleague - Ship. He truly was one of a kind with a huge heart and big smile. He always had a way with words - complete with great words of wisdom, passion and encouragement. My thoughts and prayers go out to Marie, Marisa and the rest of Mike's family and friends.

Kay Miller

September 13, 2013

It was awhile before I could send this...
I thank God for Mike and Marie for so many reasons. I remember what a great guy he was to work for and with. He and Marie eventually became like family to me. Mike was instrumental in helping me not only on the job but also with my new life in Christ. He challenged and helped me during the early years of my walk with Jesus and for that I will always be grateful. He, Marie and Marisa have a very special place in my heart.
To Marie and Marisa please know that I love you both and you are in my prayers because I don't have words of comfort that can help you in this time but I know the One Who does and so I am asking Him to comfort you with His Grace and keep you in His Peace. Always know that you are LOVED.

Mike Sinnott

September 12, 2013

It was an Honor to have known Mike and be able to have called him my friend! Our many visits, conversations, as well as his advice and guidance will always be cherished.

Lisa Toneff

September 12, 2013

Mr. Shipley, on our first appointment you had fallen & were in the ambulance & took the time to call me. We were to have an appointment to discuss opportunity and when I didn't hear from you I knew something was wrong so I will look forward to our appointment ...God Bless You? Lisa Toneff

Cindi Branch, Ph.D.

September 10, 2013

Mikey, you left us way too soon. Larger than life in every way, you made a significant mark on my life, both personally and professionally. For that, I will be forever grateful.
Marie and Marisa, words, no matter how heartfelt and sincere, seem inadequate at such a time as this. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Shauna Anders

September 9, 2013

Words escape me in expressing my sorrow at learning of Mike's passing. I can only reverberate what other's have said in that all who knew him were better for it and that he will be sorely missed. My sincerest condolences to his family.

Tina Strickland

September 9, 2013

Still very sad. I'm trying so hard to write something in the guest book and I can't stop crying to do it. He really did change my life from the worst to the best I could ever imagine. I will aways be Thankful for Michael Shipley!!!

Carol Lagi

September 8, 2013

Mike you will be missed. I have always admired your "living" faith and service to our Lord, an example for us all. I am honored to be an honorary member of the family. We will continue to be there for each other.
Carol Lagi and Family

Karla MacLaren

September 8, 2013

Our thoughts, love and prayers are with the family and friends of this amazing man. He will be missed.

jack clay

September 7, 2013

Mike was indeed a unique human being who showed his concern for his fellow man in many ways.Patricia and I remember fondly the good times we had with him and Marie.Perhaps,the pinnacle event was the Braves playing the Yankees in the World Series with temperatures well below freezing.Mike I shall miss you.Our paths separated during the past 5 years,but I always knew you were there if I needed your advise.Capt Jack Clay USN {Retired}