Donald L. Shipman

Donald L. Shipman, 92 of Laramie died Friday November 10, 2017 in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Don was born August 4, 1925 near the family farm on Scalp Creek at Wheeler, So. Dakota, the second oldest of Elmer and Esther (Kurpgeweit) Shipman’s five children.  He graduated from Fairfax High School in 1943, where he received a teaching certificate and taught school a short time at Mission before enlisting in the U.S. Army.  He was a veteran of WWII in the European Theatre, serving with Third Infantry HQ Division.  After VE Day, he volunteered for the newly established U.S. Constabulary and what was coined the Circle C Cowboys.  He was present for some of the Nuremberg Trials.  He was a trombonist in the 3rd Inf. Div. HQ band, that played for world dignitaries and for WWII American Cemetery dedications throughout Europe.

Upon his honorable discharge from the Army, he returned to Fairfax, So. Dakota and married his high school sweetheart Phyllis Walth on December 19, 1947, to which union was born two children; Connie and Randy.

They moved to Chillicothe, Missouri where he attended Business & Telegrapher School and thereafter worked in several towns in Wyoming before settling at Hanna, WY where he worked for the Union Pacific Railroad as a telegrapher, depot agent and then on to Laramie in 1967 as freight agent and later train engineer until his retirement in 1986.  No matter his circumstance, he retained a good sense of humor as was shown by his So. Dakota livestock brand of -BQ, Left Ribs Cattle.

He was a lifetime member of the VFW Hanna Post 6680, Grace Pond Chapter of Morse Telegraph Club, elected as Mayor of Hanna, served as volunteer fire fighter, 4-H leader, and several terms on the Hanna/Elk Mountain School Board as well as a member of the Union Pacific Railroad Old Timers Club.  He was a founding member of the Lutheran Church when the Hanna State Bank was converted into a place of worship and current member of Zion Lutheran Church of Laramie at the time of his death.  Don celebrated 69 years of marriage with Phyllis.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a daughter Connie Burnside; brothers Eugene, Ervin and Norman.

He is survived by his wife Phyllis, a sister Maxine, son Randy (Anne-Marie) of Rock Springs, a son-in-law Mal Burnside of Cheyenne, five grandchildren; Levi Burnside (Danielle) of Cheyenne, WY; Sarah Iversen (Derek of Commerce City, CO; Shane Shipman (Jonquil) of Grant, MN; Michelle Babcock (Brock) of Lawrence, KS; and Lisa Eyre (Ken) of Portland, OR.  Also surviving are eight great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held Thursday, November 16 at 11:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Darrell Debowey officiating.  Inurnment will be held Thursday November 16 at 10:30 a.m. at Green Hill Cemetery with military rites by the Wyoming National Guard and the Laramie Veterans Honor Guard.  Memorial in his memory may be made to a charity of ones’ choice.

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Condolences (15)

  • Anita Milliken

    So sorry for your loss. Was a very kind and gentle man.

    • Anonymous

      Anita, Thank you. The loss may be felt by us, but as I was able to speak with Gary and Ruth during the funeral I thought that perhaps Terry would be showing my dad a souped-up hotrod with "When the Saints go Marching On" in the background. Randy Shipman

  • David and Wendy Pratt

    So sorry to hear of Don's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Phyllis, and Randy, and the rest of the family. I loved talking to and listening to Don's endless stories, and felt it a privilege to see him and Phyllis first thing almost every day for decades, first as the manager at McDonalds, and then as the owner at Burger King. What a joy every morning!! I remember Don warmly, who gave me counsel in many aspects of my life...just in the way he talked. I am certain indeed, that he is having a great reunion with Connie, and so many friends. Thanks for the memories. Hugs to all.

  • Anonymous

    So sorry to hear of Don's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Phyllis and Randy, and the rest of the family. Don (and Phyllis), will forever be remembered for their love and laughter. I had the pleasure for many years...first as manager at McDonalds, and then as owner of Burger King to see them both, first thing every morning, and loved sharing in their lives. So sorry to have missed the service, as I was out of town all week, and just found out tonight as I was catching up on the Laramie scene. I am indeed sure that Don is having a great reunion with Connie, and so many good friends. Hugs to all. David and Wendy Pratt

    • Anonymous

      David and Wendy, Thank you for the note. He also had many stories to tell his family about the outings at both McDonalds and Burger King which we thoroughly enjoyed. I appreciate your thoughts as I too, am certain a great reunion is being had. Randy Shipman

  • Gary & Laura Withrow

    So sorry for your loss in our thoughts and prayers God bless you all. Laura & Gary

    • Anonymous

      Gary and Laura, Thank you for the prayers and thoughts. I'm sure he and Ronnie will meet up once again. Randy Shipman

  • Ken Schrawyer

    Such a good man,the world could use many more like him.Sorry for your loss. Ken Schrawyer

  • With deepest Sympathy Dorothea Frank

    Though we know heaven has welcomed a very special person our hearts still feel the sorrow. May the Love Of God surround you in the days ahead. so sorry for your lose my deepest sympathy to you and your family. Will remember Don fondly with all the church activities and breakfast on sundays after church. His great sense of humor and he was just such a great man. I think of all the suffering he endured and when we went to visit him and your Mom in FT. Collins all he was suffering he kept such a good positive spirit . He will not have to suffer any more .

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Dorothea, Both of the folks had such a good time with everyone at the breakfasts after church service. Thank you as well for visiting them as it really made their days. Randy Shipman

  • Ty and Vicki Blake

    So Sorry to hear of Don's passing. He was a very special friend of my dad's (Walt Poindexter). My dad really enjoyed working with Don on the railroad and enjoyed his friendship for many year after retirement. We got to know Don over the years and really enjoyed visiting with him. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Ty and Vicki Blake

    • Anonymous

      Ty and Vicki, Thank you for thinking of my Dad. He and Walt had a host of great times together, both having a very good sense of humor that sometimes led them into more hilarious situations. Thanks again, Randy Shipman

  • Lenny Dunivent

    Shipman Family.. Sorry for your Loss...The Dunivent Family..

    • Anonymous

      Lenny and the Family of Dunivent, Thank you for the message of condolence, Dad can finally rest. Randy Shipman


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