Rufus Ervin Shipley, age 89 of Moundville, passed away on November 30, 2019, at Moundville Health and Rehab. Services will be held on Friday, December 6, 2019, at 11:00 am at Magnolia Chapel South with Rev. Scott Stephens and Rev. Michael Cobb officiating and Magnolia Chapel South directing. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the funeral home.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 68 years Madeleine Smithson Shipley, his parents; E.R.and Minnie Mae Shipley, and his brothers; Ernest Shipley and Bob Shipley.
Survivors include his daughter; Deborah Shipley Hamby (Gordon) of Mableton, GA., son; Barton Clay Shipley (Deborah) of Williamson, GA., grandchildren; Adam S. Crowe (Jennie), Ronald Culver (Stephanie), Jennifer Molina (Raul), great grandchildren; Liam, Emmalyn, and Cooper Crowe, Hannah, Jonah, Judah, Gracie, and Noah Culver, Ashton Curtis (Kaylee Ward), Brandon Curtis, Caleb and Olivia Moore, and Katie Molina.
Rufus was born in Moundville, Alabama and attended Hale County Consolidated School and played football for HCHS. He and his wife were part of a quartet at HCHS. He served as a volunteer fire fighter in Moundville. After high school he attended the University of Alabama for a brief time before he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served as Air Police in Korea and Japan during wartime. He received the Bronze Star and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1954. He worked as a division manager for Liggett Myers Tobacco Company for 22 years. During those years his family moved to different cities. They lived in Decatur, GA. for 45 years before moving back to Moundville. After leaving Liggett, he successfully managed multiple entrepreneurial ventures. He also attended and completed at DeKalb Technical College. He was successfully licensed to do HVAC work. He and his wife sang in the chior at Moundville United Methodist Church. They participated in Vacation Bible School, assisted the secretary occasionally stuffing envelopes, greeted, and the Last Supper Easter presentation. They rarely missed church until they were unable to attend for physical reasons. In 2018 he was awarded his 60 year pin from the Masonic Lodge in Moundville. He was devoted to his lodge until he could no longer attend for physical reasons. He loved to bring muffins for other members that his wife baked for every meeting. He also served as a Shriner in Decatur, GA. He was in charge of the Motor car division in parades that raised money for Scottish Rite Children's Hospital, especially those specializing in burns. He and his wife were devoted to each other,they were rarely apart and truly loved life. Together they lived through some hard times. They said the sucess of their years together was in perservering and in knowing that making a commitment means working through things together. They were always outstanding parents and friends. Someone said recently that they always had a smile you felt was just for you.
Pallbearers will be Adam Crowe, Lewis Shipley, Brandon Shipley, Cameron Shipley, John Shipley, Jay Rice, and Joey Smithson.
Honorary pallbearers are the Staff of Moundville Health and Rehab, staff of The Bank of Moundville, Moundville United Methodist Church, Donna Sealy, Neighbors and Friends of Valley View Gardens, and Moundville Masonic Lodge.
In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to Moundville Masonic Lodge, P.O. Box 905, Moundville, AL. 35474 or Moundville United Methodist Church, 61 Market Street, Moundville, AL. 35474
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