Weatherford Democrat

February 7, 2013

Helen Gatlin Brogdon Shipley


Weatherford Democrat

— Helen Gatlin Brogdon Shipley, 84, died Jan. 31, 2013.

Celebration of Life is 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at First United Methodist Church in Weatherford.

Helen Gatlin Brogdon Shipley was born May 16, 1928, in Athens, Texas. Helen received a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s of Science in Nutrition Sciences from Texas Woman’s University. While teaching first grade in Houston, she met Dr. William “Bill” Brogdon on a blind date. They married in 1952, later moving to Gorman. Helen and Bill had four children – Nan, Martin, Steve, and Lynn. In 1964, the family moved to Weatherford. After Bill’s death, Helen met Fred Shipley on a blind date. They married in 1995.

Helen was always active in the community. She joined First United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, held various positions on the church board, started the XZL Club (Extra Zest for Living) and helped start the Loss Support Group. In the community, she joined the Garden Club, PTA, library board and parks and recreation board. Helen helped to establish Meals on Wheels in Weatherford, the Senior Citizens Center and the Parker County Peach Festival. She was a founding member of the Weatherford National Bank and served on the Weatherford National Bank Board and the Weatherford College Board.

Helen loved helping others. She taught nutrition at Tarrant County Community College and Weatherford College, and was a nutritionist at Campbell Memorial Hospital and Keenland Nursing Home. Later in life, Helen volunteered at The Center for Hope and supported Manna with donations of clothes and food. She was a member of The Coast Guard Auxiliary for 15 years with her husband, Fred.

Helen is survived by her husband of 18 years, Fred Shipley; children, Nan Hilliard, Steve Brogdon, Lynn and Charlie Fernandez, Anne and Carter Ferguson, Hank Hilliard, Sharon and Steve Eberlein, Vickie and Sam Hightower and adopted son Jon Hiyashi; brother, Herbert Gatlin and his wife, Patricia; grandchildren, Heather and Cory Brown, Allison and Kyle Ellis, Bill Hilliard, Amanda Brogdon, Adam Kohut, Clay Kohut, Gatlin Brogdon, Lauren and Blake Brogdon, Blaine Brogdon, Tim Fernandez, Chris Fernandez, Kate Fernandez, Jeremy Scott, Jennifer Scott, Dusty Hightower, Casey Hightower and Shannon Eberlein; great-grandchildren, Christian Brown, Caitlyn Brown, Amber Hightower and Adam Hightower; nieces and nephews; and numerous other beloved friends.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband William “Bill” Brogdon; her sons, Martin Brogdon and Dennis Shipley; daughter-in-law, Linde Brogdon; and her sister, Johnnie DeFreese.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The First United Methodist Church or Alzheimier’s Association.