Dean's Story

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Dean G. Shipman, age 75, of Traverse City, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 at Munson Hospice House in the loving care of his family. He was born on June 7, 1942 in Lansing the son of Forest and Martha Shipman.
Dean was predominately known as an educator, former principal of the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career-Tech Center from 1993 to 2001. He accepted the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Educator Award in 2000.
He assumed the leadership as CTC was transitioning from a new school to a regional pillar, with 23 programs, serving 17 school districts. He envisioned the Career-Tech to be for everyone, college-bound or not. He was instrumental in starting new programs and meeting the needs of local business and industry. Dean was visionary, do it right the first time. He promoted obtaining state-of-the art equipment in every field and the most up-to-date software for the Center. He took program advisory committees to the next level by having business and industry network with classroom personnel. Dean initiated monthly luncheons for the community prepared by Culinary Arts students. He always had the students come in for a round of applause before the guests were given a tour of the Center. His legacy includes co-founding and promoting the Career-Tech Center Scholarship Golf Outing. He continued his involvement with the outing every year, drawing over 200 golfers per year and raising $1,000,000 dollars for student scholarships in 25 years.
Dean went to school at Grand Ledge High School and excelled in track, wrestling and most valuable in football. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education at Central Michigan University and a master's degree at Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University in educational leadership.
After college he began his teaching and coaching career at Garden City. In addition to teaching physical education at all levels, Dean coached junior and senior high school football and wrestling from 1968 to 1985. His wrestling programs achieved a lengthy record of recognition for teams and individual champions in Garden City and in the state of Michigan. Dean coached wrestling at Schoolcraft Community College. He was head of the Michigan Wrestling Club which competed in world competitions; his Michigan Junior World team was national champion. He coached the Michigan Wrestling Club cultural exchange programs involving Poland and Mongolia. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic wrestling committee in 1972, took wrestlers to Montreal Olympics in 1976 and Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. His athletes admired Dean for his enthusiasm and initiative to teach them sportsmanship as a life skill. Dean was named assistant principal and vocational director at Garden City High School from 1985 to 1987. He owned and operated Americana Sport and Trophy, specializing in wrestling products and tournament awards.
Dean moved to Traverse City in 1987 to become assistant principal at Traverse City High School where he facilitated school improvement and was coordinator for Michigan Department of Education Employability Skills program. He participated in a study mission to Germany with business leaders and educators. While at TCHS, Dean was nominated for outstanding assistant principal of the year by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. He was president of the Traverse City Administrators Association, vice-president and on the board of directors of the Lions Club and member of the Elks Club.
On Sept. 7, 1963 he married Zita Saunders, his college sweetheart. They shared 54 years of good times and an enormous number of friendships wherever they went.
Dean enjoyed deer hunting and fishing with his father and brothers, golf, foreign travel and spending winters on Pine Island in Florida.
Dean will be greatly missed by his wife, Zita; and his siblings, Char Lipka, Dale (Penny) Shipman, Don (Sue) Shipman and Fred (Ruth Bloomer) Shipman.
Dean was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Shirley Walter.
Cremation has taken place in accordance of Dean's wishes. Visitation for Dean will take place at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 beginning at 9 a.m. until the time of the prayer service at noon. Deacon Rene Hoenscheid will officiate. A luncheon will be held at the Elks Lodge immediately following the prayer service.
In lieu of flowers, consider a memorial to the Father Fred Foundation, 826 Hastings St., Traverse City, MI 49686; Career Tech Center Scholarship Fund, 250 E. Front St., Ste. 310, Traverse City, MI 49684; and Munson Hospice House, 450 Brook St., Traverse City, MI 49684.
Please share your memories with Dean's family by visiting his tribute page at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on January 21, 2018
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