He was born Aug. 26, 1923, at West Point, Neb., to James C. and Grace (Vail) Shipps. During World War II, he served in the United States Army with the 1st and 2nd Army and was in the Battle of the Bulge in the Signal Corps.
On May 7, 1950, he married Iona Hemmingsen at Plainview, Neb. In 2000, on their 50th anniversary, they renewed their vows. They lived in Lincoln, where he was employed by the Nebraska Ordnance Plant. In 1967, the family moved to Parsons, where he was the supervisor of the X-ray department of the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant. He retired in 1988.
Vail was a fan of Nebraska sports, especially football. He had been a Husker fan for 65 years. He was a member of First Christian Church, Parsons Lodge No. 117 A.F. & A.M., the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Elks Lodge, from which he had received a 35 year pin.
Survivors include his wife, Iona Shipps of the home; a daughter, Debbie Justice and her husband, Mike, of Clearwater; three sons, Gary Shipps of Parsons, Bob Shipps and his wife, Kelly, of Austin, Texas, and Jim Shipps and his wife, Liz, of Parsons; seven grandchildren, Tyler Reynolds and his wife, Amanda, of Evergreen, Colo., Colby Reynolds and his wife, Jordon, of Wichita, Matt Shipps and Katie Ek of Shawnee, Kymberly Stanford and her husband, Stephen, of Austin, Texas, Chris Shipps of Kansas City, Mo., Andy Shipps of Pittsburg and Allyson Shipps of Roanoke, Ala.; two great-grandchildren, Caden and Blakeley Reynolds of Evergreen, Colo.; a brother-in-law, Gus Goshorn of Arcola, Mo.; a sister-in-law, Opal Shipps of Shawnee, Okla.; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother, Clifton Shipps; and a sister, Ruth Goshorn.
The service will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Carson-Wall Funeral Home with the Revs. Bob Shipps, Mike Justice and John Bain officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Parsons, with military honors given by the Brown-Bishop Post No. 74, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 7 to 8 p.m. today.
Memorials are suggested to First Christian Church of Parsons and may be left at or sent to the funeral home, Box 942, Parsons, 67357.
Philip C. Godfrey
Philip C. Godfrey, 64, of Parsons died unexpectedly at 5 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008, at Freeman West Hospital in Joplin.
He was born March 21, 1944, in Parsons to Clyde Dewey and Frances Christine (Peterson) Godfrey. As a boy, he grew up and attended schools in rural Labette County. He was a 1962 graduate of Labette County Community High School in Altamont and earned an associate's degree from Parsons Junior College. He served in the United States. Air Force.
For most of his adult life, he raised cattle and farmed. He also worked at Ruskin Manufacturing in Parsons from 1993 until retiring in 1998.
He enjoyed raising horses, was a member of the Southeast Kansas Mounted Posse and was a supporter of the Royal Rangers boys ministry. He attended Assembly of God Church in Oswego and was a longtime member of Gideons International.
He married June (McCoy) Asmussen on May 29, 1976, in Parsons. She survives of the home.
He was a devoted husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather.
Survivors also include a daughter, Jana Godfrey of St. Louis; two grandchildren, Brandon and Heather Godfrey; a daughter-in-law, Lisa Godfrey of Altamont; a brother, John E. Godfrey of Louisiana; and two nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Max Godfrey; and a son, Mike Godfrey, who died in 1998.
There will be a graveside service at 3 p.m. Monday at Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Parsons. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2:30 p.m. prior to the service at Assembly of God Church in Oswego. Friends may call at Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons after 1 p.m. Sunday.
Memorials are suggested to Royal Rangers or Gideons International and may be left at or sent to the funeral home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, 67357.
Condolences may be mailed to the family at P.O. Box 644, Parsons, 67357.
Viola "Midge" Dowell, 89, a former longtime Parsons resident, died at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008, at North Kansas City Hospital. She was the widow of M. Edward Dowell, who preceded her in death on Feb. 11, 2002.
Complete obituary details and funeral arrangements will be announced by Carson-Wall Funeral Home of Parsons.