May 7, 1927 ~ December 6, 2010
Richard W. (Dick) Shippy died December 6 2010 at Akron City Hospital following a long and brave battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 83. Dick was a talented writer and longtime reporter and columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal where he covered film radio television and theater before returning to the sports department for the final decade of his career. He was fiercely proud of his profession his newspaper and those with whom he worked over a nearly 40-year period. He had a quick biting wit and was particularly outspoken about what he believed was the death of 'literate' journalism. He was once ordered by an editor to discard a written interview with author Norman Mailer because 'no one in Akron knows who Norman Mailer is.' Dick's acerbic wit charmed some (readers) and alienated others (editors and publishers). He was hired by organizers of Akron's sesquicentennial celebration to write a stage play about the history of Akron and instead delivered a musical comedy featuring televangelists would-be rubber barons and a lady of the evening named 'Claire of Perkins Park Square.' One reviewer wrote 'I laughed 'til I bounced off my 'bippy.'' Dick was born in Kalamazoo Mich. but spent most of his childhood in Marion Ind. where he graduated from high school as a National Merit Scholar. He studied engineering and mathematics at the University of Kentucky before serving in Italy during World War II. Following the war he enrolled in Northwestern University where he met the woman he would marry Joanne L. Griffin. On their first date they attended a Chicago Cubs doubleheader at Wrigley Field. On that day and throughout their 60-year marriage she endured countless hours of boredom watching bad baseball to be at his side. He was preceded in death by his parents James and Emma G. aunt Rhoda sister Lois A. and beloved son Brian G. He is survived by his wife Joanne; daughter Kathleen T. of Akron; sons Kevin S. (Linda) N.Y. N.Y. and Richard A. 'Drew' (Wanda) Akron; and grandchildren Emily Colin Alison Rachel Dylan and Graham. Dick was a lifelong Democrat and generous supporter of liberal causes. Dick's family wishes to thank friends who have stayed in contact throughout his extended illness as well as the caregivers of Comfort Keepers Cuyahoga Falls. Family will receive friends on Thursday December 9 2010 at Hummel Funeral Home 500 E. Exchange St Akron from 4-7 PM. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the adult literacy programs of Project Learn 60 South High Street Akron Ohio 44326 (330) 434-9461.