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Originally published: 2013-10-08 15:33:03
Last modified: 2013-10-08 15:33:48

Agnes Davis Shipley

Agnes Davis Shipley, 96, of Vilas, passed away on Oct. 6, 2013, while surrounded by her family. She went peacefully while holding hands with her husband of 71 years, Robert Gray Shipley, Sr., 101.

Mrs. Shipley was born in 1917 in McGaheysville, Va., and grew up in the Shenandoah Valley with her parents and three sisters. She graduated from Madison College (now James Madison University) with a degree in Home Economics. She began her career with the National Youth Administration of the New Deal where she met her future husband. Over the coming years they had four children and moved to the family farm in Vilas following World War II.

In the 1950s she received a degree in Elementary Education from Appalachian State Teachers College. Mrs. Shipley followed her calling into the public school system where she worked for over 20 years including a tenure as president of the Watauga County Teacher's Association. Her commitment to excellence in education was recognized through her induction into Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honor organization for women educators, in which she took an active role for many years.

Mrs. Shipley had a multitude of passions. She was an avid flower gardener and accomplished seamstress. Her talents as a pianist and organist served the Henson Chapel Congregation for many years. She will also be remembered bringing her family together to enjoy amazing meals during holidays and special occasions including baking coconut cakes for family and friends. Throughout the years she never forgot the minute details and preferences of each member of her family. Her soft-spoken tenderness shall not be forgotten.

Mrs. Shipley was preceded in death by her parents N. Wilson and Ethel Hensley Davis; sister, Vallie Lee Myers and husband, Hubert; sister, Naomi Fuller and husband, Bennett; infant daughter, Carol Shipley.

Mrs. Shipley is survived by her husband, Robert Gray Shipley, Sr.; sister, Clara Davis Weakley and husband, Richard, of Richmond Va.; children, Agnes Gray Shipley Moore and husband David, of Greensboro, Robert Gray Shipley, Jr. and wife, Virginia, of Raleigh, Janie Davis Shipley and husband, Michael Hammig, of Seneca, S.C.; grandchildren, Natalie Shipley Smith and husband, Brian, of Greensboro, Angela Shipley Risk and husband, James Jeffrey, of Belmont, David McDaniel Moore III and wife, Hannah, of Alexandria, Va., Robert Gray Shipley III of Birmingham, Ala., Joseph Gray Moore and wife, Christy, of Greensboro, and Laurel Davis Hammig of Stafford, Va.; nine great-grandchildren, four nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Robert G. and Agnes D. Shipley Agricultural Endowment at NC Cooperative Extension Service Foundation, NCSU Box 7645, Raleigh, NC 27695-7645; Henson Chapel United Methodist Church, 120 Henson Hollow Rd., Vilas, NC 28692; or to Relay for Life, in care of Kathy Idol, 8821 Hwy. 421 South, Deep Gap, NC 28618.

A visitation will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home in Boone. The funeral will be 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, at Henson's Chapel United Methodist Church at 120 Henson Hollar Rd, Vilas, NC 28692. Online condolences may be shared with the family at the website

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home is serving the Shipley family.