Ben Ray Shippen
1934 ~ 2016

Our beloved husband, father and grandfather, Ben Ray Shippen, passed away on September 18th. It was early Sunday, still dark. He was 82. He had suffered a massive and unexpected stroke the Wednesday before.

Fitting his life to a brief obituary, with the usual listings of accomplishments, interests and family associations, is absurd to anyone who fully knew him and his story. Isn't it so with all lives, especially those lived long and well?

Between his Depression-era birth in Lewisville, Idaho on Jan 25, 1934, and his death in Alpine, Utah, Ben Shippen worked his way from poverty to riches. From received religion to examined and unshakeable faith. From ignorant farm boy to university graduate. From infatuated suitor to committed husband of fifty-six years. From small town landscaper to global entrepreneur. From callow father to trusted mentor and friend to his six children. From restless and bored Sunday

school boy to diligent missionary, to innovative ecclesiastical leader for thousands. From scrappy and resourceful worker in his twenties to scrappy and resourceful worker in his eighties. And these are just the origin and destination of a few of his life journeys. All the travel in between influenced countless lives and generations for good. It filled his mind with

inexhaustible stories he told with infectious and instructive energy. But make no mistake, his mortal journeys included the stuff of all lives, including damage, pain and regret.

His final journey was one he did not choose, from remarkable health on a Wednesday morning to near total loss of faculties in the afternoon, to the inscrutable traumas and indignities of helplessness. His closest family and many knowledgeable healers tried to help him to the end. They counseled together, as he often did, and sought to do his will. God's will. But Ben finished the journey himself, on a day of rest, with trees in his garden laden with fruit.

Ben's parents are Thomas Casper Shippen and Eliza Cordelia Boyce. His siblings are Tom, Grant, Walter, Ruth, Paul, Veda, Vera and Naomi. Only Vera remains here. His wife and loving companion is Nellie Joan Bevan. She remains here and continues her journeys of service and love. His children are Greg (and Judy Merrill); Steve (and Suzanne Ostler); Laura (and Charlie Allen); Scott (and Jaime Powell); David (and Melissa Long); and Jessica (and Chad Simkins).

They, along with eighteen grandchildren, will remember his story and try to reflect the best in him, as they continue their respective earthly journeys without him. But only for a season...

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 11:00 am at the Alpine North LDS Stake Center Chapel, 1125 East Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, Utah. Family and friends may call from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Friday, September 23, 2016 at the church and again from 9:30 to 10:30 am on Saturday morning at the church prior to services. Interment will be at the Alpine City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Chainbreaker Foundation

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