Neil Vincent Shipley

19720926 –


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Neil was born on Sept. 26, 1972. He was cherished! As a boy he did the things that boys do.

He excelled in middle school and high school and was named Athlete of the Year two times. He was student body president his senior year among many other honors and accolades. His proudest achievement was being all-district cornerback on the South Grand Prairie playoff team in 1990, as well as leading the district in interceptions.

He did not capitalize on his scholarship offers! He regretted this and dropped out of Stephen F. Austin in his sophomore year.

He joined the U.S. Air Force serving a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia-Desert Storm.

He married Melanie Merrill while stationed in California. After a divorce he married Margaret Lomax.

He managed a 24 Hour Fitness Center in Sacramento when he became extremely ill with Trench Fever, leaving him in constant fatigue and pain. He lived with his parents the next two years. He went back to California and suffered a series of heart attacks resulting in a triple bypass operation. He returned home to live with his parents who loved and cared for him but he never fully recovered.

He suffered many ailments that speeded his physical deterioration. After about a year and a half and numerous trips to emergency rooms and doctors offices, he quietly died in his sleep.

Neil was a saved Christian and has a home in heaven. He loved movies, sports (especially football) and dogs (especially the family Shi-Tzu, Katy).
Neil was a patriot, handsome, kindhearted, loving, caring, and always a gentleman. He was a blessing to his parents who suffer unfathomable grief over his passing.

Neil is survived by his parents, Michael and Barbara Shipley, a sister, Cheryl Hagedorn, brother-in-law Randy Hagedorn and nephew Clinton Hagedorn. Also two uncles, Steven Shipley and Bill Garmon in Toledo, Ohio, two aunts, Sandra Triguax in Maumee, Ohio, Sally Thompson of Indiana and many cousins.


77 thoughts on “Neil Vincent Shipley”

  1. Sitting here in our home in Nampa, Idaho, much has happened since August 31, 2008.
    Much is still the same. The love for my son and the hole In my heart has not changed.
    His ashes are with us. Photos of him all around us. Neil would have loved the mountains of Idaho. He loved the mountains of California when he lived out there.

    In about a week it will be five years since you left us, Neril. Clinton is a man now, 22 years old on 8-26. Katy is still with us and as sweet a pet as anyone could ever want. you loved her so. Melanie has a three year old son, Nickolas Michael, a name you picked. Cheryl and Randy are doing well. Mom and Dad, we are getting older. Our love for you has not flickered and we miss you as much today as we did 5 years ago.

    I love you so much Neil and forgive me for my short comings as a mother. I know I failed you but always loved you as much as a mother could love.

    You are resting in the arms of God. Peace, Peace, Wonderful peace. Amazing Grace of our Lord and Savior. Blessed hope. What a Day that Will Be. I am standing on the promises of God. This is my testimony and the Love of God will sustain me until we meet again.

    Melvina Lakey is now in heaven. I know she has already hugged you and told you how much your Mom and Dad miss and love you. Pastor Lakey is doing alright.
    Your Mom.

  2. Mr. and Mrs. Shipley,

    I had the pleasure of becoming friends with Neil during our time in the Air Force. He was a great friend and always brightened the room with his smile and laugh. He was a great person and I loved him like a brother, even though he loved the Dallas Cowboys and The U of T. We had a lot of good times giving each other a hard time about football.

  3. Cheryl A. Shipley-Hagedorn

    My baby brother is forever a blessing in my life. I remember when he was a baby. Such a beautiful boy. When he got older I picked on him and made him mad. I wish I could hold him in my arms today. I miss you so much sweetie. We will be together again.

    All my heart, all the time, Cheryl

  4. Christopher Blose

    Mr. and Mrs. Shipley,

    I only knew Neil for a short time while serving together in the Air Force, but I was definitely blessed to have known him and called him “friend”. I loved Neil like a brother and he is certainly missed, but will never be forgotten!

  5. Teresa D.Gonzales

    Mr. and Mrs. Shipley, Neil was awesome friend to me and my brother Roman Anthony since high school class of 1991. We had fun memories of your son playing sport. It’s being four year today since our good friend pass away. Our prayers goes out to his family.

  6. It will soon be four years since we have looked upon your precious, handsome face or heard “Hi Mom and Hi Dad.. Your Mom and Dad will never get over our loss of you. There is not a day or hour that you are not in our thoughts. We carry you in our mind and heart 24 hours a day. I know that you are not suffering anymore and realize that you are in a much better place. The loss is ours, You would not want to come back.

    Much has happened since you left us. We are now living in Idaho. Your remains were disinterred and now set in a lovely, wood cremation box on Dad’s desk.. The friend’s dog tags, your silver cross and St. Christopher medal were removed from around your neck and are now in our care, placed in our ‘TREASURES OF NEIL’ chest.

    Son, there is a beautiful new Veterans Cemetery very close to our house. It extends up a mountain. You loved to hike in the mountains. This may be where we place your ashes but until that decision is made, you are in our home. Our home was always your home.

    The bright side of this is this earth is not your home. How we long for the reunion in our home in the sky. Thank you Jesus for laying down your life for us. The blessed hope.
    Father God I have always felt your comfort and know that you freely gave your only son to die a cruel death to make a way for all who have sinned to have redemption from this sinful world. Our Hope is in you.

  7. Margie Silvernail

    Michael and Barbara: It’s hard to understand why our loved ones can be taken from us, but find comfort in knowing you are a special part of a well-lived life. Please know how very sorry I am. I wish I could take away your pain. May your empty heart be filled with happy memories.

  8. In a matter of days it will be one year since you slipped away silently in the night. This has been a very difficult year attempting to walk, talk, sleep, merely breathe, knowing that your precious smiling face and “hi mom” will never grace this home again. It is so empty. We miss you Son and our love for you has never flickered. The hope of seeing you again in our eternal home
    is sustaining us until we meet again.
    Your loving mother… 08/14/09

  9. Mr. and Mrs. Shipley, I also had the priviledge and honor of meeting your son and serving under his great leadership in Student Council at SGP. I was a sophomore when he was a Senior. I’ve been honored to look at both tribute videos. Seeing his pictures from high school brought back fond memories of Neil. He was so caring of everyone he came across. I will never forget him. My sophomore year was one of my best years in High School and part of that is because of Neil being who he was. My prayers go out to you. I found out about his passing shortly after (sometime in September) and I was shocked. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family in this sad time. I am also a Christian and I am very happy that Neil Vincent Shipley is in heaven with God watching over us. God Bless.

  10. Dear Barbara and Michael, I am not sure if you remember me or not but I was friends with Neil in elementary school. I just learned about his passing today. I am in total shock and I don’t know what to say other than I am very sorry to hear about this.

  11. You lost your son, brother, and uncle. I lost my nephew. Life on planet earth will never be the same. What we have to hold on to are our precious memories and faith in the promise to be with him again, forever.

  12. Summer Baker (Thompson)

    I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose a son, but there is comfort in the fact that I cannot imagine what wonderous things he is experiencing right now.

  13. Steve & Hattie Shipley

    We have no words to express our sorrow over Neil’s passing. We are sorry that we never got to know him, but we will one day in heaven.
    We are all going, Neil just left a little early.
    Mike & Barb, your loss is great. Our prayers are with you.

  14. Patti Marsh, proud mama of Matthew

    Neil, what a handsome young man you are. I can see the love you and your family have for each other. Be sure to give your mama lots of angel kisses as she misses you so very much. You suffered so much, now it is time for you to be at peace. Much love to you and your family.

  15. This is Peggy’s brother and I wanted to let you know that the day that Peggy and Neil got married I told Neil that no matter what took place between the two of them that he would always be my brother.I will never be the same without him.He IS an angel’s son. I love you brotherman!

  16. Michele (Shelly) Bergren (Manrow)

    Michael, Barb, & Cheryl,
    My thoughts & prayers are with you. I’m sure your grief knows no bounds, and my heart aches for you, but I also know that you take comfort in the knowledge that he is home now & you’ll see him again. God bless you & keep you.

  17. I had the priviledge of serving in the AF with Neil while stationed at McClellan AFB, and I will always remember him as a friend. He was a great guy that will be missed by all. His presence in this world was a true blessing. May God be with you and your family. My prayers go out to you and your family!

  18. Victoria E Henrion

    I offer my heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to Neil’s family and friends. The seemingly endless grief we feel upon losing a beloved . . . our despair at the prospect of not being able to see him or talk to him . . . a void left in the wake of such a beautiful soul’s departure . . . all are overwhelming and seem to us insurmountable. How to go on alone and to claim a right to life when he cannot? Our beloved will always be with us ~ and someday, we with hiim. God will soothe our grief. He will calm our despair. He will fill the void. He will comfort us and soften the pain we think will never end. For He has embraced our beloved and, in His perfect timing, will someday enfold us in His eternal light where we will be together with our beloved once again.

  19. I had the privilege of getting to know Neil while serving on Student Counsel with him at SGP his senior year. He was always good humored and cheerful. The World is a better place having known him. His energy will always be with us. It is a shame that he had to leave us so soon. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and all who knew him well.

  20. Neil, Mom and Dad will never be the same. We look forward to our glorious meeting with Christ and our baby boy in the land where there is no sorrow.
    Thank you God, for loaning Neil to us for almost 36 years. Lives he touched with his kindness and sweet smile will never forget him.

    Your sister Cheryl, nephew Clinton, brother-in-law, Randy and Aunt Sandy and Uncle Frank….send their love.

    You are resting in the arms of God.

  21. Barbara, I am so sorry to hear about Neil’s passing. My heart goes out to you and your family. May God guide each one of you through this difficult time.

  22. I love and miss my baby brother. He had the sweetest kindest heart. He was an incredibly beautiful person, inside and out. The world is a colder and sadder place without him in it. I know he is saving a place for his family in heaven. I look forward to seeing him there.

  23. Michelle Anderson


    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and my prayers.

  24. Stephanie Williams

    I am so sorry for your loss. Neil was a wonderful man and he will be truly missed. May you feel God’s presence during this difficult time. Your family are in my prayers.

  25. Jack & Denise Findlay

    Michael, Barbara, Cheryl and family,

    My heart hurts for you. The video was a wonderful tribute to Neil. So many wonderful memories. I was so happy to read and hear that Neil was saved and loved Christ.
    God will comfort you and give you the strength to get through this very difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  26. Jamie Perez (Rivera)

    I had the pleasure of knowing Neil back at South and he was an amazing person. My deepest sympathies go out to your entire family during this difficult time.

  27. Michael and Barbara,

    I am so sorry to hear of Neil’s passing. I can still remember the first time he and I met at Zavala and the many good times we had growing up together. He was truly one of a kind and I will never forget him. May God bless you and your family.

  28. Bridget Dunn (Cornelius)

    Shipley Family,

    I was a classmate of Neils for many years. Neil was a wonderfully kind person. I’m so very sorry for your loss. You will be in my prayers.

  29. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my brother who was only 30 at the time 2 years ago and it is exteremly hard. But as time goes by your heart that has an open wound will start to close. I will pray for your family that God comforts your hearts and gives you the strentgh to move on.

  30. Melissa D\'Urso (Marion)

    After learning of Neil’s passing my thoughts brought me back to the Fall of 1991 when 5 freshman tried to find their way around the unchartered territory of SFA. Our thoughts and prayers are with Neil’s family during this difficult time. Please find comfort that Neil will have a special place in the hearts of so many people whose lives he touched. Warmest Regards, The D’Urso

  31. Melissa D'Urso (Marion)

    After learning of Neil’s passing my thoughts brought me back to the Fall of 1991 when 5 freshman tried to find their way around the unchartered territory of SFA. Our thoughts and prayers are with Neil’s family during this difficult time. Please find comfort that Neil will have a special place in the hearts of so many people whose lives he touched. Warmest Regards, The D’Urso

  32. I am so very sorry for your loss. It was my privilege to serve with Neil in the USAF. Although we lost contact with each other, I will always remember him and the times that we shared. Be at peace my friend…

  33. Amy (Brackeen) Keller

    Dear Shipley Family~Neil was truly amazing and larger than life! The room would light up when he walked in. I have so many wonderful memories of him from our years together at Zavala and Jackson MS, but the best were at SGP. The funeral service was so touching and a beautiful reflection of the person Neil was. I will miss him dearly but will cherish all the great memories. All my love to you.

  34. I work with your daughter Cheryl, whom through her over the years I have come to know Neil and your family. I am deeply sorry for your loss and will continue to pray for each of you and that God will give you the encouragement and strength in the times ahead. Your loved one although gone in body will always be with you in spirit. God blass and take care.

  35. Thank you for the chance to know your son. I was in his class at SGP, but didn’t have alot of chances to know him personally. He will be missed and the world will be a little dimmer without his light.

  36. Heidi Miller (Schneider)

    I lost touch with Neil soon after high school. However, his name would come up in certain circles bringing back memories of his kindness, athletic & academic excellence, and his smile & laughter that could lighten any situation. Know that Neil lives in the hearts of many of us that knew him. My sincerest condolences. May God bless you & give your family

  37. My heart hurts for his parents, family and friends like me. It is so very sad to see such a young, happy, handsome guy gone so soon. I am glad I was able to see him one last time at our class reunion in 2006. My eyes filled with tears seeing his video, then my heart filled with joy knowing he is with our Lord. May Mr. and Mrs. Shipley find peace during this very sad time. God Bless.

  38. Very Sorry For your loss I will pray for your whole family I know Neil is finally home with his father in Heaven I can still remember football 1991 playoffs we had such a great time and grew togother as friends and family.

  39. I’m so sorry for your loss. I served with Neil in the Air Force and have many good memories of him. From motivational workouts with him in the gym, to late night discussions on mid-shift, to volleyball behind the barracks, to going out on the town with the rest of the squadron, to talk of what we were going to do on the “outside,” I will always remember Neil and will continue share my memories of him with friends and family. He will be missed. You can rest now big guy, sorry I didn’t get it together and look you up sooner.

  40. Chad & Kelly Dover

    We went to school with Neil….. So very sorry for your loss! You are in our prayers!

  41. To The Shipley Family,

    Neil was a true friend, with a kind spirit and caring smile. He had such a positive influence on my classmates and me; he will be missed. My heart and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Hold on to your faith and know that Neil is in a better place.

  42. Leslie Crook (Doughty)

    To the Shipley family, my heart goes out to all of you in this time of loss. I have so many memories of the high-school foursome of me, Mike, Stacy and Neil. Learning of his passing has brought back so many detailed memories of time spent with him. He was a dear person. Find solace in knowing that your son truly touched a lot of lives.

  43. Deanna Hendershot

    I served in the military with Neil, stationed at McClellan. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope that time and memories will help lessen the burden of your sorrow, and that you may find some measure of comfort knowing that others care and share in your loss. I will light a candle for Neil tonight.

  44. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t know Neil better. To be honest, I’m not even sure if he would remember me. I was a year younger than him in high school and we only had one class together. But even though we ran in very different circles (he being a popular athlete and me being a band geek), he was always very nice to me and I was sincerely grateful for that.

    I always thought it ironic that he, the all-american golden guy, had the initials N.V.S. because I was always genuinely envious of him. =).

    To the Shipley family, you have my prayers and

  45. Michael and Barbara,

    I want you to know that my friendship with your son all of our childhood and teenage years was irreplacable. I still to this day don’t have a freindship like Neil and I shared. I love you both like my own parents and I want you to know that God and Neil are having one heck of a celebration in heaven. Please get it touch with me at your convenience. God Bless You and stay strong.

  46. Stefani Morelock-Gurke

    I am so sorry to hear of Neil’s passing. I remember him fondly from high school. He was full of life and was always fun to be around. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this

  47. Mike, Barbara & Cheryl – God Bless You and be with you. You had a wonderful son and brother to remember. Remember the good times and cherish the memories. He’s in heaven with that beautiful smile.

  48. To the Shipley family,

    My sincere condelences to both Mr. and Mrs. Shipley and family in your loss. My childhood and young adult memories would not be complete without the thought of Neil and the many days we spent together.

    May he rest in peace,

    Your friend always….

  49. I’m so sorry for your loss. You family and friends will be in my prayers. I served with Neil in the U.S.A.F. Neil was a great friend and always had a great smile on his face. We shared time in the gym together and times training in the desert. He will be cherished for the rest of my life. This has come to me as a shock. The last time we were face to face was in Sacramento, the summer of 2004. I have always wondered what and how he was doing. Sincerly, Sean M Cross. – God Bless-

  50. You raised such a fine young man, who loved the Lord. It must be so hard to see Neil go so soon. He walked from your loving arms into the loving arms of the Lord. I didn’t know Neil, but saw his tribute video. His life story touched me deeply & since I have watched it, I have thought of you and the pain and sorrow you must be feeling. A thought came to me that one so beautiful as Neil must have been too precious for this old earth, so his heavenly Father called him home. I’m sorry you had to see your son, friend and brother suffer as he did. Take comfort in that his life is touching those that didn’t even know him and his testimony is a light to us all. May Christ comfort you in the seconds, minutes, hours, days and years to come as you hold onto the memory of such a precious man. My prayers are with you.

  51. Neil was a dear friend of mine growing up. We went to school together begining in elementary school. I still remember his favorite Def Leppard concert shirt he wore every Friday! We played in the creek together. We rode bikes, chased girls, and played football together. I voted for him to be Class President, and was proud of his speech. Neil was just like most of the rest of us. He was all boy, and loved to laugh. I have missed Neil over the years, and thought of him often. I want to express my deepest sympathy to his family and all of his friends. I’ll miss him, and can’t wait to see him in Heaven.

  52. Bonnie Stalkfleet

    I know there are no words that can ease the pain you are feeling. But please know, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  53. I can not tell you how very sorry I am for your loss. I wish there was something I could do or say to help you through this very diffacult time. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.
    All my love,

  54. Barbara, Michael & Cheryl I’m so deeply saddend by your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. Neil went to heaven many years too soon. I hope you will take comfort in knowing he is in a place where there will be no more pain, emergency room visits or doctors. Only peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Love always, Linda

  55. Barbara, Michael & Cheryl, My heart goes out to you. I feel privileged to have gotten to spend time with Neil. He was a very kind person and had a heart of gold. There will not be a time that when I see a Longhorn and not think of Neil. So for Neil, “Hook ‘em Horns”. I will miss him and I pray that each one of you find peace knowing that he is looking down smiling with his silver wings. Love, Laurie

  56. Dear Barbara and Michael,
    My heart aches for you. God blessed Neil and He will bless you also.

    Much love,
    Pat Whitacre

  57. Trina Gwynn (Green)

    was so sad to hear about Neil passing. I went to high school with Neil and remember him as such a gentleman. He was a sweet boy and I am sure he turned out to be a sweet man as well. I know he will be missed dearly by everyone who knew him.

    My prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends.

  58. Anne and Mike Lynch

    Barbara and Michael,
    We were profoundly sadded to hear of the loss of your beautiful Neil. Know that Neil’s spirit will live on in the lives of all he’s touched. You are in our prayers.

  59. My heart goes out to you. The world was lucky to have known Neil and he will watch over us always and forever.

  60. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m here if you or Michael ever need anything.

    God Bless You both.

  61. Teresa Arizmendi

    I’m sorry to hear about Neil. The video tribute was absolutely beautiful. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers and I know you will look back at all the wonderful memories to help you heal and know that he will always be with you. God bless you!

  62. Barbara: My heart goes out to you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May the Lord comfort your hearts and hold you tight to him and find comfort that Neil is with the Lord.

  63. Theresa Dworaczyk

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I wish I knew the right words to say that would truly comfort you during this time, but know the Lords loves you and is with you.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers
    May God bless you today, tomorrow and always,

  64. My heart goes out to you, Barbara and your family. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.



  65. Mike and Barbara, please accept my prayers for you and your family. In the time that I knew Neil he was a fine young man of extremely good character. I am sure you take comfort in his love and faith for Christ.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Del Street

  66. Barbara & Michael,
    I watched the tribute video and it brought me to tears. Neil was a wonderful man and he will be missed. I pray for peace in your hearts in the coming days. Love, Donna

  67. Joe & Barbara Searle

    Michael and Barbara, we were deeply saddened to hear of the death of your son Neil. We know that your strength, family and friends will help you get through this difficult time. Please accept our deepest sympathy, and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time and always.
    Love you,
    Joe and Barbara Searle

  68. Barbara, I am so sorry about Neil. I watched the tribute video, and it brought me to tears. That was a wonderful tribute. I pray that God provides you and your family with the peace and comfort you all need in the days ahead. I will keep you all in my prayers.

    Love you,
    Stacey Florence

  69. The year is 2019. Next week is Thanksgiving. Eleven years has passed since you departed. Your parents now reside in Longs, South Carolina. We moved here in summer of 2016. Katy passed away suddenly two weeks after arriving in S C. I still miss our baby girl, Neil. We have another Sh ih, Rosie. She is 3.5 years old. We love her very much. Amazing how her personality is So different than Katys. Just like my human babies. Neil, your Mom and Dad are getting old. You would be 47 years old, still a young man, if you had not left us here. Neil, we miss you always. You stil! Reside in our heart and memory, son.
    We moved to S C after Sandy and Frank retired here. We love you No with our whole being.

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