Obituary: Jerry Shipley

April 17, 2023
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Jerry Dewain Shipley, 78, loving husband, father, Papa and devoted Red Raider fan, passed away peacefully April 8, 2023, surrounded by his adoring family. He was born June 9, 1944, in Lubbock, Texas, to Alton and Ruth Shipley and was the oldest of four boys. After graduating from Monterey High School, Jerry attended Texas Tech University and played football for the Red Raiders as a wide receiver from 1962-1965, lettering in ‘63, '64 and '65 and proudly wearing the number 84. His greatest memory was his trick-play with Donny Anderson in 1965 and he would tell that story to anyone who would listen!

Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Ardith Joyce Hessler, on July 24, 1964. After graduating from Texas Tech in 1965, Jerry and Ardith moved to Arlington, Texas, where they raised their children, Kurt and Kelly. Jerry was an entrepreneur and had a successful career as a general contractor and also managed many rental properties. He also loved spending time with family, playing golf, running, and was very active in his church, even coordinating many youth events when Kurt and Kelly were young. Jerry's favorite pastime was watching anything involving Red Raider athletics and swore they would win a national championship in every sport, every year! His greatest joy was his family but being a Papa to his four grandchildren, Laci, Lindsi, Taber and Ella, was better than a Red Raider championship! Jerry loved attending their games or activities and loved making them laugh at his crazy jokes. They were the light of his world and he showed them what true bravery was as he fought his cancer.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Alton and Ruth Shipley, and brother Gary Shipley.

He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Ardith Shipley; son, Kurt Shipley and wife Keri; daughter, Kelly Drury and husband Ron; grandchildren, Laci Lesnick and husband Andrew, Lindsi Shipley, Taber Utterback and Ella Utterback; brothers Les Shipley and David Shipley; and his many friends near and far.

The family will hold a Celebration of Life at 3 p.m. May 12, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church, (main sanctuary), 777 N. Walnut Creek Dr., Mansfield, TX, 76063. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting a donation be made in his name to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the Texas Tech Red Raider Club.

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."  1 Peter 5:10

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