Donald L. Shipman

Donald L. Shipman, 92 of Laramie, died Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Don was born Aug. 4, 1925, near the family farm on Scalp Creed at Wheeler, South Dakota, the second oldest of Elmer and Esther (née Kurpgeweit) Shipman’s five children. He graduated from Fairfax High School in 1943, where he received a teaching certificate and taught school a short time at Mission before enlisting in the U.S. Army. He was a veteran of WWII in the European Theatre, serving with Third Infantry HQ Division. After VE Day, he volunteered for the newly established U.S. Constabulary and what was coined the Circle C Cowboys. He was present for some of the Nuremberg Trials. He was a trombonist in the 3rd Inf. Div. HQ band that played for world dignitaries and for WWII American Cemetery dedications throughout Europe.

Upon his honorable discharge for the Army, he returned to Fairfax, South Dakota, and married his high school sweetheart Phyllis Walth on Dec. 19, 1947. To this union two children were born, Connie and Randy.

They moved to Chillicothe, Missouri, where he attended business and telegrapher school and thereafter worked in several towns in Wyoming before settling at Hanna, where he worked for the Union Pacific Railroad as a telegrapher and depot agent, then on to Laramie in 1967 as a freight agent and later train engineer until his retirement in 1986. No matter his circumstance, he retained a good sense of humor, as was shown by his South Dakota livestock brand — BQ, Left Ribs Cattle.

He was a lifetime member of the VFW Hanna Post 6680 and Grace Pond Chapter of Morse Telegraph Club, was elected as mayor of Hanna, served as a volunteer firefighter and 4-H leader and served several terms on the Hanna/Elk Mountain School Board. He was also a member of the Union Pacific Railroad Old Timers Club. He was a founding member of the Lutheran Church when the Hanna State Bank was converted into a place of worship and was a member of Zion Lutheran Church of Laramie at the time of his death. Don celebrated 69 years of marriage with Phyllis.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Connie Burnside; and brothers, Eugene, Ervin and Norman.

He is survived by his wife Phyllis; sister Maxine; son Randy (Anne-Marie), of Rock Springs; son-in-law Mal Burnside, of Cheyenne; five grandchildren, Levi Burnside (Danielle), of Cheyenne, Sarah Iversen (Derrick), of Commerce, Colorado, Shane Shipman (Jonquil), of Grant, Minnesota, Michelle Babcock (Brock), of Lawrence, Kansas, and Lisa Eyre (Ken), of Portland, Oregon. Also surviving are eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place, and memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 at Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Darrell Debowey officiating. Inurnment will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 at Greenhill Cemetery with military rites by the Wyoming Nation Guard and the Laramie Veterans Honor Guard.

Memorial in his memory can be made to a charity of choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home. Go to to send condolences or to sign the online guestbook.