Bosque del Apache Hosts John Shipman Memorial Service

Bosque del Apache Hosts John Shipman Memorial Service


The New Mexico Tech community and the family of John Shipman will hold open house memorial service at the Bosque del Apache to allow friends to gather and remember John. Join John’s family and friends at from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, February 25.


This event will be a chance to see friends, look at photos, tell stories about John and generally celebrate a life well-lived – albeit way too short. It will not be formal - no chairs in rows, no dress code, no speakers - just gather and “talk story” (that's Hawaiian for "tell tales"). Signs will direct you to the Friends of the Bosque del Apache House where light refreshments will be available.


As John would likely insist, you are encouraged to bring cameras and binoculars and other birding paraphernalia and walk or drive the Refuge as he would. There is ample parking and a $5 refuge admission (80 percent of that remains at the Bosque for their programs). John, in his inimitable fashion, kept a log of how often he visited the Bosque and it totals 400 visits!


John’s family is grateful for the opportunity to hold this event at Bosque del Apache and they thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of the Bosque del Apache for allowing John's life to be celebrated at a place one of his friends called “John's church.”


Tech Mourns The Loss Of Renaissance Man, John Shipman


SOCORRO, N.M. – The New Mexico Tech community is mourning the loss of a beloved staff member. John Shipman passed away January 31, 2017, after a short battle with cancer. He was a 1970 graduate of New Mexico Tech with a bachelor’s in computer science. After working for more than 15 years in the Bay Area of California, he returned to Socorro in 1987 to work in the Computer Science Department and the Tech Computer Center (TCC).

The Computer Science and Engineering Department is planning a memorial service, which will be announced soon.


John Shipman


Mr. Shipman retired from New Mexico Tech in 2013, but remained a steady presence within the NMT community as a singer and volunteer. He was diagnosed with cancer in late December 2016. After some weeks in the hospital, he was moved to a skilled nursing home, where many friends and co-workers visited him during his last weeks. Mr. Shipman’s sister, Sally Breeden, set up a GoFundMe to start a scholarship in his name. To contributed, go to https://www.gofundme.com/john-shipman-medical-scholarship.

Mr. Shipman was well known in Socorro for his participation in the NMT Music Program. He sang as a chorus member in the Chamber and Concert Choirs, sang in the Jazz Ensemble and the Calloway master class. He performed as a soloist on large pieces like Handel’s “Messiah” and Haydn’s “Creation.” He sang, acted and danced in spring musicals, such as “South Pacific” and “Fledermaus.”


Dr. Doug Dunston of the CLASS Department said Mr. Shipman was a great champion of music in all aspects. He said Mr. Shipman was one of the first people he met when he arrived in Socorro in 1997.

“He found an open time in his schedule and swooped me up for a lunch and to talk about how important music was to the sanity and humanity of Tech students and the community,” Dunston said. “In the years when I directed the Music Program, he was involved in every way he could be and overall helped countless new Tech students find their way into the small, but important community of musicians in Socorro. He cared deeply about the quality of a musical endeavor, able to appreciate any individual or group effort but still always wanting and ready to take the work and practice and art to a higher level.”

Mr. Shipman’s career at New Mexico Tech included teaching courses in software construction, Cleanroom software development, operating systems, and practica in Python, LaTex and Tex. As an applications specialist, he wrote and organized external and internal documentation, built internal applications, taught informal user classes, and engaged in what he called “software technology evangelism.” His Python classes were free and open to the general public.

Mr. Shipman was known as a Renaissance man; he was an avid bird-watcher and a gourmand.

Dr. Lorie Liebrock of the Computer Science and Engineering Department said, “John was a thoughtful, gentle and generous renaissance soul who will be missed immensely in our computer science community.”

Mr. Shipman volunteered to maintain the LaTex thesis template with regular updates that had a constant influence on graduate students over the years.

– NMT –