Mary Alice Shipps (nee Garren), 81 years of age, passed away peacefully on Feb. 15, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. Born on Oct. 30, 1941, to Paul and Madeline (Werkheiser) Garren, she grew up in Nazareth, Pennsylvania before moving to Hainesburg. Mary was a 1959 graduate of Belvidere High School.
She married Henry Shipps in 1960, settling in Hope, and worked for many years as a seamstress at the local shirt factory. When she got bored running a sewing machine, she decided to earn her certification to become a nurse’s aide and worked for Warren Haven Nursing Center in Oxford until she retired in 2002.
Mary was predeceased by her husband of 49 years, Henry “Hank” Shipps; a brother, Paul Garren; and stepbrother and sister-in-law Earl and Bert Houck. She is survived by her son, Brian Shipps, and wife Adrienne (Rieger) of Columbia; sister Laura Werkheiser of Nazareth, Pennsylvania; and brother Valentine Garren of Columbia. She is also survived by her granddaughter Miriam Shipps and stepgrandson Daniel Pavan. She leaves behind a host of family and close friends whom she held dear but crosses over to meet many more who have gone on before her.
Mary was a loving wife and mother, enjoyed card games, watching old Westerns, reading the Bible, and was not only an avid Mets and Eagles fan, but was a whiz at crossword puzzles. She had a smile, a hug and kind words for everyone. In her youth, Mary was quite the daredevil, climbing bridges to jump into the rivers below and playing baseball with the boys. Both Mary and Henry volunteered for the Knowlton Lions Club for decades; Mary was a recipient of the Melvin Jones Award and a familiar face at all their events (and probably sold most of the winning 50-50 tickets). She was a member of Grace Community Church of Hope for 40 years and loved her Lord Jesus with all her heart.
Everyone who remembers Mary is asked to celebrate her life in their own way (although this should probably involve ice cream or some sort of cake). In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in Mary’s name to the Knowlton Lions Club, 4 Homestead Court, Belvidere NJ 07823 or Grace Community Church, 1250 Route 519, Hope, NJ 07840, so that others may continue to be helped in their time of need or see the shining Light of Christ.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
A visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Newbaker Funeral Home, 200 Route 94, Blairstown. On Thursday, Feb. 23, another period of visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. followed by a short memorial service. Interment will follow at Hainesburg Cemetery, 455 Route 94, Columbia. Family and friends are invited to gather at the Knowlton Lions Club immediately after interment for light refreshment.