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1926 Robert 2017

Robert Neil Shipley

January 1, 1926 — August 19, 2017

Obituary for Robert Neil Shipley

Robert (Bob) Neil Shipley passed away Saturday, August 19, 2017 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson after a short bout with cancer. Bob was born to Elmer Shipley and Very (Burlingame) Shipley in Somers, MT on January 1, 1926. The family moved to Polson in 1935 and Bob graduated from Polson High School in 1943. It was during WWII that he entered the Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet program. He liked to say that they ran out of airplanes before he completed training. After the war, he went to college and graduated from medical school in 1953. He practiced in Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, and then in San Diego, CA.

He retired in 1980 and followed his dream of being a wayfaring nomad. He built a sailboat in his backyard and he and his wife, Joan, spent the next ten years exploring the Pacific Ocean – from Mexico to Hawaii, from New Zealand to British Columbia and many of the islands in between. In 1991 they took to the land and became RVing nomads.

In their travels he and Joan visited all but two of the Presidential Libraries, most of the Civil War sites as well as most of the national parks and monuments. In their later years they liked to summer in Polson, MT and when the snow came they would winter in Tucson, AZ.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Joan Shipley; his three children, Rick Shipley of California, Janis Mayer of Colorado, and Ron Shipley of Texas; seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and all of his friends (extended family) at the Eagle Nest RV Resort in Polson.

At Bob’s request there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, 6 – 13th Ave. E. Polson, MT 59860.
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