Loretta Jane McNoel Shipman
Maiden Name: McNoel
Loretta Jane McNoel Shipman passed away October 28, 2005, when her Arkoma, Oklahoma, family residence caught fire. She was born August 23, 1940, in Talihina, the daughter of Johnny and Agnes Tom McNoel.
Loretta began taking care of little ones when she was 15 years old. After losing their mother, she became the family manager and did so with loving care. This became her purpose and passion. She continued to care for children when she volunteered for the Head Start program. She later became a Head Start director, retiring after 25 years. She held many positions in her community, PTA and City Council. During elections her home became a poll precinct. She was always there in time of need. She loved and gave unconditionally. The house on Choctaw Hill was open to all and welcomed by Ms. Shipman. After Loretta retired, she spent many hours with Don and her granddaughter, Courtney, scouring places in search of objects to show her creative talents through her artwork and crafts.
She was proud of her Choctaw heritage. She will be greatly missed.
Her accomplishments were many and although she was taken away, the cherished memories she left will remain alive with us all.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Survivors include her husband, Donald Shipman of Arkoma; three children, Kathy Arey and Christopher Shipman, both of Arkoma, and Amy Shipman of Fort Smith, Arkansas; brothers and sisters; Mildred Gish and Rick Schalski of Arkoma, Bettye Karbo, Donna Robinson, Debbie McNoel, Sharon McNoel, Lisa Schalski and Floyd McNoel; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
To all who contributed and sent flowers, thank you very much. Many thanks to the Skullyville Choctaw singers who were greatly appreciated. They were an inspiration at our going away farewell to our wife, mother, friend, and sister, Loretta Jane McNoel Shipman. Surrounded by family and friends, the singers touched one and all. Thank you for the outstanding finale.