The Life of Richard R. Shipe Jr.
Richard R. Shipe, Jr., 65, of Oley, passed away at home on May 22, 2023. He was the loving husband of Karen L. (Strobel) Shipe for nearly 40 years.
Richard was the eldest of three children, born on June 28, 1957, to Richard R. Shipe, Sr. and Pauline (Lick) (Shipe) Hahn.
Rick enjoyed cooking delicious meals for his family and friends. He made the world’s best smoked meats, potato filling, sweet potatoes, and olive cheese dip. He made elaborate themed birthday cakes for his daughters each year and was exceptionally proud of his breakfast cakes and funny cakes. Yes, he accomplished many other things, but his culinary talent cannot be overstated!
Rick was a 1975 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School and Western Montgomery Area Vocational-Technical School. He participated in FFA and trapshooting. After graduation he served as a Red Hill Borough Police Officer briefly and was an Interstate Truck Driver under the CB radio handle name “Keystone Blue Devil”. His passion was working outside as a Heavy Equipment Operator and most recently as a Foreman for M&A Excavating. He took much pride in his work and enjoyed telling family and friends about the projects he was on. Rick also enjoyed working at Oley Valley Feed on Saturday mornings for many years.
Rick was an avid New Zealand rabbit breeder for over 30 years. He traveled the East Coast and across the country with fellow rabbit breeders and his family to rabbit shows. The girls hold fond memories of their childhood vacations to national rabbit shows. He was a lifetime member of the American Federation of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders Association and served as the Secretary/Treasurer for 10 years, as well as President and Director. He is a member of the club’s Hall of Fame. Locally, he helped with the Berks County 4-H Rabbit Club while his girls were in 4-H. Rick also served many years as a Purina Mills Rabbit Ambassador.
Throughout his lifetime, Rick participated in many volunteer organizations. He was a volunteer firefighter for both the Red Hill Fire Company and East Greenville Fire Company. He served as a Co-Chairman of the Oley Valley Fair Refreshments Building, along with his daughter Jaimie.
Rick very much enjoyed hunting and fishing. Sullivan County, PA was a special place for him to enjoy the outdoors. He cherished the time he spent hunting with his daughter Jaimie as well as hunting with various buddies and family. Kacy and Rick enjoyed fishing together, a favorite spot being in Seeley’s Bay, Canada. He was an avid gardener with a beautiful vegetable garden. The family reaped the benefits of canning, freezing, and eating home-grown food. He passed his passion on to both of his daughters. He was recently very proud to help plant and create a cut flower garden for his wife. He had a great affection for dogs, especially Boxers. He belonged to several bowling leagues over the years. He enjoyed watching football and was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. He loved listening to classic country music, his favorite being George Jones. He attended the legendary George Jones tribute concert with his girls in Nashville in November of 2013, which was a huge highlight of his life.
Rick was very proud of his PA Dutch Heritage – this often carried over to the traditional foods he made. He loved making scrapple and attending Oley Daal Fersammling. In recent years, Rick was a member of the Reading Liederkranz and thoroughly enjoyed their events, especially when Alex Meixner Band was playing. A few years ago, Rick started his own Oktoberfest celebration – “Shipefest” for family and friends. He spent a lot of his free time helping his daughters and their families with projects – especially anything outdoors or garden related.
While his sudden passing leaves us brokenhearted, we rejoice for him and know we will be reunited with him one day. He will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts. Along with his wife, Karen, Rick is survived by two daughters, Jaimie L. Reinhard (Derek) of Oley, and Kacy E. Kiljanski (Andrew) of Pipersville; 2 grandchildren, Aiden Richard Reinhard and Shelby Pearl Kiljanski; his mother, Pauline Hahn along with her husband, Theodore Hahn of Gilbertsville; a sister, Linda A. Sobjak (Stephen) of Oley; and many nieces and nephews.
Richard was preceded in death by his father, Richard R. Shipe, Sr. and a brother, Larry R. Shipe.
A public visitation with the family will be held on Tuesday, May 30th from 1-3 PM at Ludwick Funeral Homes and Cremation Care, Inc., 333 Greenwich Street, Kutztown, PA 19530. A memorial service will follow at 3 PM.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Richard’s name to the following organizations: Adopt A Boxer Rescue (adoptaboxerrescue.com/donate), American Federation of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders Youth Scholarship Fund (David Cardinal Sec/Treasurer – E4076 Hwy 22&54, Waupaca, WI 54981 specify scholarship fund) or to Oley Valley FFA (17 Jefferson St, Oley, PA 19547).
Ludwick Funeral Homes and Cremation Care, Inc., Kutztown, is in charge of arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.Ludwickfh.com