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Miriam Shipman


Miriam D. Shipman passed away peacefully on April 10, 2018, at age 91 in Minneapolis. Once in a lifetime you're blessed with someone to love and protect you, watch over you, give you guidance and love you unconditionally; our family was so blessed. She was a wife, mother, daughter, sister, neighbor, educator, leader, professional, homemaker, seamstress, ballroom dancer, community steward and so much more. Faithful in her Quaker upbringing, she led an exemplary life of commitment.
Born Oct. 22, 1926, in Vermillion Grove, Ill., Miriam was committed to success and to those she loved and protected. A college beauty queen with a degree in education from William Penn College and a master's degree in education from Northeast Missouri State University, she was named outstanding educator of the year by the IBEA in 1988. She also was a member of the Eastern Star, NEA, ISEA, CREA and Delta Pi Epsilon. She married Don H. Shipman on July 31, 1949; he preceded her in death in 2011. Miriam and Don were a team — together they spent more than three decades teaching and nurturing students at Jefferson High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Miriam was a business teacher, committed to giving the students she nurtured the tools they needed to themselves succeed in life.
They raised three children, Wade Shipman (Shanne Shipman), Springfield, Mo., who preceded Miriam in death, Leslee Barbato, Frederick, Md., and Todd Shipman (Brad Bernstein), Minneapolis. They were blessed with three grandchildren, Dustin Grabe (Amber Young), Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Megan Wright (Andy Wright) Frederick, Md., and Cara Shipman (Charlie Wurster), Springfield, Mo.; and three great-grandchildren, Jonah Grabe, Harper Wright and Wyatt Wright. She is survived by brothers, David Walthall (Mary), Dunedin, Fla., Louis Walthall (Mary), Urbana, Ill.; and sister, Olive Milledge (Larry), Chariton, Iowa.
Committed to faith, fellowship, Bible study, choir and leadership in the church, they were members of both St. James United Methodist Church and St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. You might have known Miriam as your teacher, teaching partner or Mercy Hospital volunteer, enjoying exercise and coffee at the MAC, and dancing with Don in ballrooms across the Midwest or winters in Texas. Miriam lived a beautiful life, always dressed perfectly, shrouded in style with great attention to detail. If you lived in Cedar Hills, you knew who lived at 5400 Plainview Dr. for 41 years — the home Miriam and Don kept was an example of how proud this great generation was of homeownership. Each blade of grass, geranium, snow flake, leaf, shingle and paint scrape was attended to. Hours spent attending to the house and garden evolved into days spent across decades, making this a home filled with love and memories, a testament to their hard work and a symbol of the loving relationship they shared. If you met Miriam, you know how authentic she was, honest, sensitive, hard-working, smart, worrisome, faithful and committed, but most of all filled with love for everyone she met.
Thank you to all who made her life a little better each day, especially at The Gardens in Springfield, Mo., and at Sunrise Assisted Living in Minneapolis.
A Celebration of Life and Memorial Service will be held Sunday, June 17, 2018, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1340 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403.