Weatherford Democrat

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February 7, 2013

Woman who helped start local bank, Peach Festival passes


Together, Shipley and Worthington created the Peaches Club, later known as the Parker County Peach Festival.

“I came up with the idea because we had just opened a brand new bank. There hadn’t been a new bank opened in awhile, and we knew we had to get something going to attract more business,” Worthington said. “We wanted to do something regarding what Weatherford stood for. At that time, it was between peaches and watermelons, two of our biggest crops, and watermelons aren’t easy to carry around; so we decided on peaches.”

In the festival’s first year, the event failed to attract a big number, but as word caught on year after year, the festival, which was held at the current College Park shopping center, flourished — so much so, in fact, that Worthington approached the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce a few years later to inquire on hosting the event.

“We just got so busy and it was hard for the two of us to organize and handle everything,” Worthington said.

“One of the things I remember about my childhood is always going to the peach festival as a kid,” granddaughter Heather Hilliard said. “She was extremely well-known in Weatherford. They would have a pot luck meal every Sunday after church and when we would visit and attend, we were always running into people that knew her.”

Shipley was also accomplished in her studies, obtaining a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in home economics, as well as a master’s in nutrition sciences from Texas Woman’s University.

She used her education to teach nutrition at Tarrant County Community College and Weatherford College, and was a nutritionist at Campbell Memorial Hospital and Keenland Nursing Home.

“I always thought of her as very knowledgable and proper,” Hilliard said. “She received her master’s in nutrition and was very educated.”

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