Betty Shipp

May 15, 2021

“And to think that ‘she’ saw most of it on Mulberry Street!”  The life of Betty Louise (Decker) Shipp ended May 15, 2021 at her home on Mulberry Street.  She was 89.  Betty was born November 12, 1931 in East Liverpool, Ohio to parents John Milton and Minnie Pearl (Gertler) Decker.  She lived all her young life there with her parents and brother, William Bernard and Charles Curtis, and her dog, Lollipop (all deceased).  She was educated at Lincoln Grade School and East Liverpool High School.  She graduated in June 1949, as an honor student and was awarded the Columbiana County 4-year full tuition scholarship to study elementary education at Ohio State University.  During the summer prior to her senior year, she also attended the Ohio Valley Business College where she studied typing, shorthand and office etiquette.  At Ohio State she was a member of the Wesley Foundation, Kappa Phi Methodist Women’s Sorority, the Makio yearbook staff, and the Women’s Glee Club.  She was so proud that she got to attend the 1950 Rose Bowl Game during her freshman year and was named the grand champion of the Girl’s Intramural Ping Pong Tournament during her junior year.

While at Ohio State, she met the love of her life, husband, and life-long partner, Jim.  At a Wesley House social event, she couldn’t reach the portion of the map to pin her hometown of East Liverpool (Betty was always a little height challenged), and a tall, strapping fellow came along and helped her with her pin.  She was smitten.  The two didn’t actually start dating until her junior year, after some of Jim’s buddies tricked him into a ping pong match with Betty, which of course was an embarrassing shellacking for him.  Later, in the basement on Mulberry Street, Jim and Betty’s four kids would have such laughter and joy watching their mom soundly defeat their dad with her roundhouse smashing spike returns on the ping pong table.

Her teaching career began in the Fall of 1953, before she even graduated in December.  She was hired by the Columbus superintendent to teach afternoon Kindergarten at Highland Park Elementary in south Columbus while completing her student teaching for OSU in a 2nd grade classroom at Clintonville Elementary School.  After graduation she was transferred for the remainder of the year to Westgate Elementary School where she taught an AM Kindergarten class in the gymnasium and to Highland Elementary School for PM Kindergarten in a basement room.  Two more years were taught in Columbus before coming to Marysville.  Both years were at Bellows Elementary School:  one year as a 2nd-3rd grade combination and another year of Kindergarten.

During her years at Bellow Elementary, she was married on June 19, 1955, to James Arthur Shipp of Massillon, at the Orchard Grove Methodist Church, in East Liverpool, Ohio.  After joining her husband, Jim, during his stint in the military in Louisiana and Texas, both came to teach in Marysville during the fall of 1960.  Betty was assigned to second grade at Edgewood Elementary School where she taught for five years before moving to Kindergarten. She completed her 30-year career, there, in 1990.

She was a former member of the OCCL Teachers Study Club and the OCC Child Study Club, a member of the Union County Retired Teachers’ Association, a life member of the State Teachers’ Retirement System, the Fortnightly Club and former member of the OH-HI-LO Camping Club.  In 1973, Betty was instrumental in the formation of the Alpha Upsilon Chapter – Alpha Delta Kappa, an International Teachers’ Honorary Sorority and served as the Ohio State President from 2004 to 2008.  She was a Cub Scout den mother, Brownie and Girl Scout leader, former Treasurer for the Marysville Little League, and often ran the concession stand.  Of Methodist faith, she attended the Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School and Bible School.  Known for always taking care of the “kids”, she made bags for those kids who didn’t have backpacks and sewed Halloween costumes for the kids who couldn’t get one.  She was proud to be chosen as the Marysville representative for the 1983 “Honda to Japan” program, as part of an effort by the new Ohio Honda organization to send local educators to Japan to view Japanese classrooms in order to assist the incoming Japanese children transition to American schools.

Not many knew she was accomplished as a pianist and an organist (with 11 years of piano lessons and 4 in organ).  She played for Sunday School and Kindergarten when a piano was available, but played mostly for her own enjoyment.  She accompanied her grade school rhythm band when in the 8th grade and at OSU often accompanied vocal music students making their senior recordings.  Other enjoyments during her lifetime – crafts, sewing, camping, and sports activities.  She was a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds having attended many bowl games and going to Florida for 20 years with husband, Jim, to the Reds spring training games where they sat in the Reds family section.


“And to think ‘she’ saw most of it on Mulberry Street”… but, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”….

“Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life’s

A Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

and never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?”

Yes!  You will, indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

…So, you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!

Dr. Seuss

In addition to the predeceased relatives mentioned is Betty’s husband, Jim.  She is survived by son, Douglas Allen, wife Monique and her mother Susan; son Charles Edward; son Kevin Lee and wife Rhonda; daughter Julie Anne; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

There will be no services, but the family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Alpha Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa and the Marysville Retired Teachers’ Association.  Memorials may be submitted to Underwood Funeral Home which is assisting the family.  Please leave any condolences on Betty’s memorial page at Underwood’s Funeral Home,


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