Cover photo for James Earle Shipman's Obituary
James Earle Shipman Profile Photo
1937 James 2021

James Earle Shipman

May 11, 1937 — September 19, 2021

James “Jim” Earle Shipman, 84, of Big Timber, MT, formerly of Hamilton, MT, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 19, 2021, at Spring Creek Inn Memory Care in Bozeman, MT where he had been residing for a short time. Jim lived with Parkinson’s disease and dementia for many years.

Jim was born May 11, 1937, in Lincoln, NE, the son of Harold Lee and Effa Helen (Westervelt) Shipman. He lived in Havlock, NE until age two. The family then moved to the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State where his father worked during wartime.

Jim’s family later settled in Edmonds, where Jim attended school and graduated from Edmonds High School in March 1956. Jim had missed many days of high school due to hospitalization.

In 1957 Jim married Mary Ellen Harrison. To this union were born a son, Brian, and daughter, Diane. Jim and Mary divorced in 1981.

Jim married Carol (Patrick) Turnupseed in 1986 in Everett, WA. This marriage brought two stepdaughters, Cheri and Kim.

Following high school, Jim worked at a machine shop in Ballard. He later went to work for West Coast Telephone Co. that was later General Telephone Co. and worked there for over 20 years. After retiring from the telephone company Jim and Carol moved to Hamilton, MT. He worked for Hamilton School District Maintenance department. This job helped finance a wood working shop he constructed at his home.

Jim was a gentleman and a gentle man. He was a friend to all. He served when and where he could, always quietly and without a desire of recognition. He loved to visit with people and was often found striking up conversation with strangers. He was always pleasant, cheerful, and polite. He loved history and learning. Jim loved children and animals (dogs, but not cats)!

Jim had many interests and hobbies. He refereed junior and senior high school basketball in Edmonds. He was a member of the Martha Lake Community Club in Martha Lake, WA, and the Seattle Ice Skating Club. He was very active with his son’s activities in Boy Scouts for many years, often taking other boys under his wing. Jim was a master woodworker building many furniture items for his home and for others. He loved watching sports. The Seattle Mariners baseball team, the Seattle Seahawks and the Montana State Bobcats football were among his favorite teams. He attended many high school basketball tournaments in Hamilton over the years, enjoying his time selling programs, and visiting with coaches, players, and fans as they came through the doors. Jim was a member of the Hamilton Lions Club and the Episcopal Church. He served as an election judge in Ravalli County. Jim loved to travel and see new places. He and Carol traveled extensively whether just a “Sunday drive” or much farther destinations by auto, plane, cruise ship, or the many miles traveled in their motorhome.

Preceding Jim in death are his parents, a sister, Geraldine Shipman, and a brother Donald Shipman.

Jim leaves behind many who benefited from his kind, gentle nature. He loved and was loved. He leaves his wife of 35 years, Carol. His children: son, Brian (Rosie) Shipman, Spokane, WA; daughter, Diane (Charlie) Wescovich, Liberty Lake, WA;

stepdaughter, Cheri (Monte) Fjare, Big Timber, MT; and stepdaughter, Kim (Danny) Thompson, Lake Stevens, WA.

Eight grandchildren loved and will miss their grandpa: Jamie Shipman, Spokane, WA; Zach Shipman (fiancé Elie Frey), Spokane, WA; Aaron Wescovich, Groton, CT; Taylor Wescovich, Omaha, NE; Benjamin Fjare, Bozeman, MT; Jacob Fjare (Grant Gigot), Chicago, IL; Kari McGonigal (Jason Crosby), Marysville, WA; Kristina (Lee) Graham, Monroe, WA.

Jim also leaves behind seven great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 2, 2021, 2:00 p.m. at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 600 South 3rd Street in Hamilton, MT. Reception will follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the charity of your choice, or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014. Donations can also be made online at .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Earle Shipman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church

600 South 3rd Street, Hamilton, MT 59840

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