A funeral Mass for Deacon Walter Shipley was offered June 25 at St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, Rosedale, where he served for 20 years. Deacon Shipley died June 20. He was 91.
Deacon Shipley grew up and was baptized at St. Jerome, Baltimore. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 and was awarded the World War II Victory Ribbon and a Good Conduct Medal.
He and his wife, Eva, were married 65 years and had nine children, 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. According to Deacon Nicholas Feurer, a permanent deacon at St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, Deacon Shipley was one of the first lay persons to be recognized and given the privilege of reading Scripture after the Second Vatican Council.
Before becoming a deacon he was an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. While still ministering at St. Clement Mary Hofbauer he served in the Tribunal.
“He was a lover of the Eucharist and for years he took holy Communion to the entire Franklin Square Hospital,” said Deacon Feurer. “Walter and Eva would volunteer at the University of Maryland Hospital in the Infant Hearing Center. He and Eva then volunteered one day a week during the same period tutoring children with learning difficulties.”
Deacon Feurer said Deacon Shipley and his wife would walk in the evenings at the local mall and collect discarded cans to sell and donate the money to charity.
“Walt was a dignified and fine gentleman who would help anyone in need,” said Deacon Feurer. “For years he distributed (a pin representing) the same size feet of an aborted baby that could be worn so that others would ask him what they were and he would gladly tell them.”