Janet "Jan" Hamlin Shipman

August 2, 1932November 13, 2018

Jan passed away peacefully at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital in Santa Monica, California. She was native to Westwood since settling there in 1956.

Jan was born in Rochelle, Illinois (pop. 4,000) to David Walter Kelly and Lucile Hamlin, who gave birth at age 44 to whom would be their only child. At age 14, Jan and her dear childhood friend, Anne, were excited to share their first summer job together de-tasseling fresh corn at California Packing Corporation in Rochelle. Known as “Calpak”, the San Francisco-based cannery was more commonly referred to as Del Monte Foods. The two girls continued what would be a life-long friendship. Jan would later attend Northern Illinois State Teachers College in Dekalb, Illinois but soon chose to accompany her parents with their frontier move out west, settling in West Los Angeles, California.

Once in Los Angeles, Jan would soon meet her future husband, Richard “Dick” Sammons” Shipman. At the time, Dick was actively involved in circuit racing his Austin Healey Special sports car, and together they shared the exciting-- though often dangerous--passion for racing, which took the couple to venues throughout Southern California. Jan patiently spectated at each event, watching as Dick would slalom around the course, rounding the corners and hopefully crossing the finish line unscathed. Dick had undoubtedly been impressed to find Jan's first car was a 1955 Corvette. Over the remaining years of her life, she would own five unique Porsches, all manual transmission, until paddle shifters became the norm.

Jan and Dick were married at Westwood Methodist Church in Westwood in October of 1958. They soon relocated to Austin, Texas where Dick was employed by a technical instruments company. They later decided to return to Los Angeles and soon after, Jan enrolled in an executive secretarial school, headquartered in Beverly Hills. Upon graduation, she was hired by Southern Federal Savings & Loan, where she became executive secretary to its vice president, remaining there for seven years. She gave birth to her first son Greg in 1964 and Scott arrived one year later.

For the next five decades, Jan and Dick would share their passion for exotic cars, becoming active members in the local Aston Martin Owners Association, Porsche Owners Association, and becoming founding members of the Delorean Owners Association. They could often be found caravaning with other club members or displaying their cars at exotic auto shows, but only after hours of polishing and preparing for the white-gloved judges.

As a parent, Jan would join Dick and become active in school associations at James J. McBride School for Special Education and Joseph P. Widney High School, both where their son Greg would be enrolled. Jan was an active bowler at the nearby Picwood Bowl and with a steady 150 average, she participated in its league competition, all the while establishing many friendships. She also partnered with her son, Scott, and both competed in the parent/child leagues.

Jan decided to return to work and in 1986, as receptionist and “chief greeter”, she joined the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), an entity of the J. Paul Getty Trust, in Marina Del Rey, California. There she was introduced to the stimulating and worldly clientele of GCI, the entity of the Trust purposed with the preservation of cultural heritage. Jan was a perfect fit for those she worked around, presenting her poise and personal skills to meet, greet and connect the constant flow of international visitors and dignitaries. Jan was the ambassador for the Getty Conservation Institute. Though Jan spoke only one language, she was able to engage with a variety of people of distinct cultures and became a matron of her environment, gaining respect and appreciation from fellow employees and outsiders alike with her warmth and kindness. She cultivated these relationships through the years, genuinely asking about friends and family, impressing upon all how much they were valued. She would move with the J. Paul Getty Trust when they relocated to the newly-constructed Getty Center in Brentwood. Jan would retire from the J. Paul Getty Trust as senior receptionist after 21 years of service, replaced only due to the advancement of automation. She would leave a void unfilled after her departure.

Jan enjoyed many interests throughout her life. Her taste in music spanned generations, from Elton John, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga to Leonard Cohen. She would always purchase the latest cut from Sting. She enjoyed Hollywood movies, subscribing to both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter magazines for the latest industry updates. NetFlix would become a favorite pastime, with Jan rarely flinching or cowering at oftentimes edgy or graphic content. She was enamored with and collected Southwestern jewelry, with its beautiful colored and cut mineral stones, inlayed within gleaming sterling silver. She was never without a New York Times bestseller, enjoyed fine wines with her fine dining, and weekly shopping at Gelson's Market, where all knew her.

Jan was fond of travel and would embark on a variety of cruises to Mexico and vacations to Maui, Hawaii. Her prized experience was her travel with Dick through Kenya, Namibia, and Tanzania, visiting the plains of the Serengeti, including the Ngorongoro Crater. Slightly out of her element, she “braved” lions and other exotic predators as she camped outback in the unpredictable African savanna but enjoyed every minute of observing its wonder, beauty and diversity, often harsh in its reality. As she was a lover of nature and wildlife, she contributed to the World Wildlife Fund, The Humane Society, and Wildlife Waystation, a local animal sanctuary dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of wild and exotic animals.

Jan planted and tended to beautiful hybrid roses in her garden and always had on display fresh flowers, including peonies and orchids. Jan took great pride in her appearance and would always be found with immaculate nails, hair and stylish dress. She was loyal to both her hair stylist and her manicurist, utilizing their combined services of over 40 years. Even to the very end, she wore her favorite Chanel lipstick, which rotated with the season. The remaining years of her life were dedicated to selecting, raising and caring for her wonderful and loyal golden retriever, Emma, whom she adoringly referred to as “Ladybug”. She loved Emma like a daughter, while Emma enriched her life in immeasurable ways.

Jan is predeceased by her husband, Dick, and is survived by her two sons, Greg of Los Angeles, California; Scott of Tucson, Arizona; her son-in-law, Scott Wilbur of Marina del Rey, California; Christina Venegas, Greg's life partner, and her golden retriever, Emma. She will be cremated and her ashes interred--reuniting with her husband and her parents--at Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica, California.

The family extends its appreciation for the care and kindness provided by the staff of Fireside Health Care Center of Santa Monica. Jan will be missed terribly.


Janet "Jan" Hamlin Shipman

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Carol Hahn

February 12, 2019

What a beautifully written tribute. I will always remember Jan's beautiful face and bright smile, greeting me each day, as I walked into the suite at my job at the GCI. Sadly, Jan has left us in this world, but I know her spirit and soul will grace a new path, as she moves along on her journey. Blessings to Jan's family and sweet dog, Emma.

Sheri Saperstein

February 8, 2019

Thank you for this beautiful tribute. I feel like Jan is right here.
Jan was a wonderful woman and beautiful soul, with tremendous, tremendous dignity. Her dignity reminded you of your own, and that set the tone for the day each morning when we said hello. God bless you, Jan. Rest In Peace.