SHIPMAN, DONALD, G., MAJOR, U.S. ARMY, RETIRED – age 58, of Waco, Texas died May 5, 2018 at his home surrounded by his family. Born June 12, 1959 in Wurzburg, West Germany, he was the son of the late Donald R. and Melva L Shipman (Buckhannon, West Virginia) and was preceded in death by his father.
Major Shipman began his 30-year military career in 1977 serving in Cavalry, Airborne Infantry, Special Forces, and Special Operations units. He earned a Bronze Star for reconnaissance missions with 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) during Desert Storm. Other awards include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Drill Sergeant Badge. Foreign decorations include the Egyptian Commando Badge, Honduran Parachutist Badge, and Kenyan Parachutist Badge. During his service in Special Forces, Don participated in Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, Foreign Internal Defense, Counter-Terrorism, and Counter-Proliferation missions. During this period, he operated in Central America, the Balkans, Africa, and Asia.
Don became a Master Mason in 1985 advancing to this degree in F & AM Stephensburg, Kentucky Lodge No. 212. Don earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma (1995), a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska (1997), a second master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi (2010), and a doctoral degree from West Virginia University (2004).
After his retirement, Don discovered a love of coaching soccer at the recreational, club, middle and high school levels. Staying true to his Special Forces roots, Don continued to pursue humanitarian assistance opportunities overseas when possible. He also developed a passion for making custom knives and tomahawks in the tradition of the early North American fur trade. Above all though, Don never forgot the long months away in other countries and to that end sought to spend as much time as possible with his family during the last years of his life.
A voracious reader and life-long lover of history, Don managed to gather a treasure trove of data on the Shipmans world-wide who had served in the armed forces of their respective countries throughout history.
He is survived by his immediate family: Diane (wife), Ike (son), and Samantha (daughter). And, by his (mother) Melva Shipman, (brother) Curt Edwards, (sister) Donna June Ours and (sister) Phyllis Shipman.
Don specifically requested no funeral services.
To my soccer girls, “I love you like daughters!”
Aside from his family, Don was proudest of having been a Green Beret “doc” and taken care of thousands of children all over the world……
As long as we remember…..they are never truly gone.