Cumberland Times-News


June 26, 2011

Shipmans celebrate anniversary

KEYSER, W.Va. — Robert Leroy Shipman and Elizabeth Louise Jones Shipman, Keyser, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary June 20.

Bob first met Betty when she moved across the street from him. She was 13 at the time. They became close friends, spending a lot of time together. Little did they know that within two years their friendship would lead to them becoming high school sweethearts.

Following graduation from high school, Bob entered the Army in July of 1947. He was sent to Alaska in July of 1948. He asked Betty to marry him on Christmas Eve in 1950 while home on leave.

A June wedding was planned and Miss Elizabeth Louise Jones and Sgt. Robert Leroy Shipman were united in marriage at St. Paul’s Evangelical United Brethren Church, Williamsport Pa. The Rev. Paul S. Wheelock and the Rev. Frank Sanders, great-uncle of the bride, officiated at the double ring ceremony before an altar arranged with white gladioli and palms. Mrs. Thelma Crow of Philadelphia presented the wedding music and accompanied the soloist, Neil Arnold. Both are cousins of the bride.

Betty was escorted to the altar by her father and given in marriage by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Jones Sr. She wore a white nylon gown designed with full skirt and train. Her illusion veil fell from a heart shaped bonnet and she carried a colonial bouquet of white roses and babies breath.

Miss Patricia Leeper, a cousin of the bride, was maid of honor. She wore an off-the- shoulder gown of orchid organdy over taffeta, with a bouffant skirt. She carried a colonial bouquet of yellow roses. Bridesmaids were Miss Saundra Jones, sister of the bride; Miss Peggy Shipman, sister of the bridegroom; Miss Beverly Roller and Mrs. Carol Webb. Their organdy gowns were fashioned like that of Miss Leeper’s in shades of green, blue, yellow and pink. They carried colonial bouquets of roses. Dawn Elsesser and Deborah Jean Jones, the latter a sister of the bride, were flower girls. They wore orchid organdy gowns and carried baskets of yellow rosebuds.

Best man for the bridegroom was Pfc. Richard Shipman, brother of the bridegroom and son of Mr. and Mrs. Amos B. Shipman. Ushers were Richard C. Jones Jr., brother of the bride; Walter Shipman, brother of the bridegroom; Stanley Bachman, and Robert Williamson.

A reception for 100 guests was held in the church social rooms following the ceremony. Later, the couple left for Washington, D.C. For traveling the bride chose an orchid suit white accessories and a white orchid corsage.

Upon their return, the couple took up residence on lsabella Street in Williams-port, Pa. Bob worked as a finish carpenter, served in the U.S. Army for more than 21 years and worked for the FBI in Quantico, Va., for 17 years. Betty worked as a secretary for the YMCA, then as a telephone operator. While living in Alaska she worked for the Alaska Road Commission. Betty worked as a secretary for the FBI in Quantico for six years before taking an early retirement.

Bob enjoys playing the clarinet, reading, carving, music and working on home renovations. He has belonged to the Musicians Union and Astronomy Club. Bob played in symphonic orchestras, dance orchestras and bands.

Betty enjoys knitting, crocheting, reading, music, cooking and baking. She also played French horn in a symphonic orchestra and high school band.

Bob and Betty enjoy traveling and family gatherings. They attend Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Frostburg.

Bob and Betty have four children, Robert Leroy Shipman Jr. of Franklin N.C.; Beverly Ann Collins of Ruther Glen, Va.; Brian Scott Shipman of Williamston, N.C.; and Babbette Dee Ardillo of Locust Grove, Va. They have 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

While in the military, Bob and Betty became quite the world travelers, leading an adventurous life. They spent the better part of Bob’s military career stationed overseas, Alaska, prior to its becoming a state; Greece, France, Iran and Sweden, including stop overs and visits in a number of countries. This gave them opportunities to expose their children to many different cultures and experiences — air travel, walking up the Eiffel Tower, riding a camel, camping in Denmark and riding a ferry across the Fiords to name just a few.

Bob shared his love of fishing with his children and grandchildren. He and Betty took their grandchildren on vacation with them. They included their children and grandchildren in their activities whenever possible. Some of the activities they enjoyed together were music, white water rafting, fishing, hiking, theater and swimming.

Bob and Betty credit their successful marriage with taking one day at a time with lots of give and take. Their mutual respect and love for each other, along with love of family, keeps them going strong.

A celebration is planned in the near future to honor Bob and Betty.

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