We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home
John H. Shippee, Jr., 94, was taken home to be with his Lord on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, after a period of declining health.
John was born in Buckland, MA on October 14, 1927 the son of John and Bessie (Handfield) Shippee. He was a graduate of Arms Academy, class of 1946. On July 11 of that same year John enlisted with the United States Army.
John served during the Korean war until his honorable discharge on December 12, 1951 having achieved the rank of SGT. He later re-enlisted with the United States Air Force and was stationed in Italy, honorable discharged again on May 13, 1960. John was proud of his 12 years of service to our country and was a true patriot.
On January 3, 1960 he was married to Donna Brant, together for over 60 years until her passing on May 8, 2020.
John’s career began at the former Kendall Mills in Colrain, but shortly thereafter he moved on to the Yankee Atomic Plant in Rowe. He was an “instrumentalist” at the plant for 26 years, retiring in 1986. He instructed many fellow employees how to operate the various instruments and gauges at the plant.
John was just as busy at home in his free time as he was at the plant. He was a member and past Post Commander of the Shelburne Falls V.F.W and a member of the American Legion also in Shelburne Falls. He enjoyed marching in parades and holding the flag for all to see. John was also a past Grand Master of the Mountain Lodge of Masons in Shelburne Falls, and was an assessor to the S.F. Fire District Water Dept.
John was a delivery driver for the Meals on Wheels program, a driver for Riverside Industries, worked part-time at Yankee Candle and Hardigg Industries, he volunteered at Franklin Medical setting up patients for television viewing in their rooms during their stay, and he had served as a Deacon and Treasurer at the Goshen Community Church and Colrain Community Church.
John’s family loved to call him “the tank” for his resilience to 5 bi-pass surgeries, hip replacement and other ailments he defeated over the years.
He loved to bake using old family recipes, loved to travel-having recently traveled the complete Route 66 with his daughter Brenda and family friend Kim McComb, he was a “town historian” knowing much of the history of the trains and trolleys in Shelburne Falls, on August 27, 2016 he was honored at Fenway Park for his military service and received over 100 cards and letters from Tik-Tok friends. He was a frequent contributor to Tik-Tok and gathered many friends over the years.
John was also a frequent contributor to the Greenfield Recorder’s Letters to the Editor. He enjoyed sharing his conservative, Christian viewpoint and lived the motto “God, Family, Country”.
John’s family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Pastor Bob Szafran of the Colrain Community Church, his wife Tammy, their son Daniel and the entire church community, the staff of Guardian Angels homecare, Danielle and Jason Chadwick, Cindy Clarke and Kim McComb, all for your compassion, love and support over the years.
John’s family includes his daughters; Tammy Mosher and husband Tim of Osawatomie, KS, Brenda Jarvis and Steven Derscha of Shelburne Falls, grandchildren; Valerie (Daniel) Bush, Eric (Hannah) Mosher, Amanda Toporek (Seth Recore), Jason (Lydia) Jarvis, great grandchildren; Timothy, Eric and Henry Pfeil, McCoy and Clara Jane Bush, Micah and Phoebe Mosher, and “one on the way”, nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held Saturday, July 9 at 10:00 am at the Colrain Community Church, Main Rd., Colrain. Burial services with Military Honors will follow in Trow Cemetery, Charlemont Rd., Buckland.
Calling hours will be Friday, July 8 from 6 to 8 pm at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home, 40 Church St., Shelburne Falls.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested memorial contributions be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org) or the Dakin Humane Society (www.dakinhumane.org)