Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dick Shippy’s widow passes away

Joanne Shippy, widow of the erudite BJ entertainment writer Dick Shippy, passed away Friday, June 17.

Joanne Shippy
Her obituary:

Joanne Griffin Shippy

Joanne Griffin Shippy, retired principal of Akron’s Voris Elementary School and a beloved mother and grandmother, died Friday, June 17, at Arden Courts of Bath. She was 87.

Joanne was born Nov. 17, 1928, in Albany, N.Y., to attorney F. Stanley Griffin and teacher Genevieve Shea Griffin, and spent her childhood in Clinton, N.Y. Her greatgreat- grandfather, Revolutionary War veteran Nathaniel Griffin, was among the first settlers of New York’s Mohawk Valley, arriving in 1790 after purchasing a tract of land from General George Washington and New York Governor George Clinton. In 1937, at age nine, Joanne represented the Griffin family as a featured participant in Clinton’s sesquicentennial celebration.

Following her graduation from Clinton High School, Joanne attended Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts. It was in Evanston where she met her future husband, Richard W. (Dick) Shippy. They were married in 1950. The couple lived briefly in Clinton, N.Y., and Fort Wayne, Ind., before settling in Akron in 1956.

Joanne served as an in-home instructor for the Akron Public Schools from 1958-67. She taught at Crosby Elementary School from 1967-69, Lawndale Elementary from 1969-72, and Robinson Elementary from 1971-76. She was an administrator at the school district’s Hilltop House diagnostic center for troubled children during the 1976-77 academic year. She trained as a “cadet principal” at Lincoln and Seiberling schools before being appointed principal of Voris in 1979. Many of her former students might fondly recall her donning the “Voris Vulture” costume, a bright-yellow bird suit, as part of the school’s annual Halloween festivities.

Although she retired in 1990, Joanne served as a substitute principal at several local schools over the next five years. She and Dick traveled throughout North America, Europe and Asia with friends and family members over the succeeding decade.

Joanne was preceded in death by her husband, in 2010, and son, Brian G., in 1974. She is survived by children, Kathleen T., of Akron, Kevin S., of New York, N.Y., and Richard A., of Cuyahoga Falls; as well as grandchildren, Emily, Colin, Alison, Rachel, Dylan and Graham.

The family will receive friends Monday, June 20, 4 to 7 p.m. at Hummel Funeral Home, 500 E. Exchange St., Akron.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be directed to the League of Women Voters Education Fund,, P.O. Box 46, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44224; or Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, www.sta, 714 North Portage Path, Akron, OH 44303.

Joanne’s family extends its heartfelt thanks to the staff of Arden Courts of Bath, who provided five years of loving care to “Principal Shippy.”


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