When Peace Corps volunteer Andrew Shippee died in July 1995 in Johannesburg, South Africa, hundreds of friends and residents visited his parents to offer condolences and remember his brief, but full, life. His parents, David and Leatrice Shippee of 911 Gibson Hill Road, insisted his memorial service not be a time of mourning, but one of sharing happy memories of their son’s many accomplishments. Now, thanks to the effort of Boy Scout Ben Driscoll of Sterling, many more Sterling residents and passersby will get to share in Andrew’s life when they relax at a small park Driscoll and 17 fellow Scouts have created. The Andrew Shippee Memorial Park has been created on a small patch of land alongside what is known locally as “Wacky Pond,” a large inlet in the Moosup River that sits along the edge of Route 14, across from Main Street in the center of Sterling village.
I worked with Andrew at Burger King in the 80s and Andy took me to my first Rocky Horror picture show. He was a great person and friend.
Andrew was an amazing person. He was full of life and cared about his fellow man I served with Andrew in Cameroon and he actually signed my marriage certificate as my “witness” when I married in a traditional ceremony there. I miss him still. Knowing about this park makes me so happy.
Andy Shippee was my friend and English teacher of fluency here in Budapest, Hungary in 1190-1991, and also someone who taught us about American democracy and the system of Checks and Balances. (He made us learn the American capitals of states by heart. 🙂 I only found out much later, that almost no American knows the full list. I still do.) I also owe him my fluent English and the little bit of American accent in it (Not Providencean, though.). Before he left Budapest, I have made an hour long interview with him, which is recorded and I still have it on file. I am willing to share it with his parents and sister.
I am thrilled to find out that there is a memorial park now named after him! Please if you read this are able to access that place easier than me, can you please plant a flower there? (I still live in Hungary)
Sissy, his sister,told me of my you and the interview. Your thoughts bring him alive for us again. Please if you ever visit the U.S. contact us and make our home yours. Lee Shippee
Thank you so much for creating this memorial site. I am proud to say Andy Shippee was my friend. He made a tremendous impact on my life in the Boy Scouts. I think about him often as an inspiration to live life to the fullest. I have traveled the world for work, but always went out of the way to do things in the local communities. That was Andy’s influence and how I found my wife in the Philippines. He will always live in my heart. Gone but NEVER forgotten!