Jean Agathe Shipman

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Jean Agathe Shipman

April 23, 1921 - July 21, 2018

Jean Agathe Shipman, 97, passed away peacefully early in the morning of July 21, 2018.

Jean was born April 23, 1921 in Pittsburgh, PA to Abram Lenhart and Agathe (Grondahl) Shipman. She attended the Hill School in Gilpin Township, PA, and graduated from Leechburg High School in 1938. For 13 years, prior to attending college, she was successively a Telephone Operator, Long Distance Supervisor, and Assistant Chief Operator for the Kittanning Telephone Company.

Jean entered Oregon State University where she was Parliamentarian for the Student Senate and graduated in 1956 with a degree in Home Economics.

In 1956, she began her Extension career, serving as Extension Home Economics Agent in Coos County, OR. She returned to the Oregon State campus in 1962 where she was an Assistant Professor and Consumer Marketing Specialist. She earned her MA in Home Economics Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1964. She worked for Oklahoma State University for 21 years as an Assistant and Associate Editor for the Cooperative Extension Service and then Public Information officer for the College of Home Economics. She retired from Oklahoma State University in 1985.

At the seminal age of 78 she married Dr. Mark B. Rhea of Arcata, CA on May 22, 1999 at Brentwood Park Estates in Stillwater.

Jean participated in 32 annual meetings of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), formerly the American Home Economics Association (AHEA), in three Congresses of the international Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) and in 11 national conventions of the American Association of Agricultural College Editors (AAACE).

A certified Family and Consumer Scientist, Jean served AAFCS and the home economics profession in local, state, national, and international events, as well as other home economics groups such as home economics college editors and home economics alumni associations.

Jean was first chair-elect of the AAFCS Home Economics Communications Section in 1972, Chairman of the AAFCS Council Center for the Family, and secretary of the AAFCS Research Section. She represented the United States on the IFHE Education and Training Committee in Paris; Bristol, England; and Hannover, Germany. During the XVI World Congress of IFHE in Minneapolis, Jean was the Press Room Coordinator.

She participated in three national meetings of Women in Communications and was official Timekeeper during the Honolulu Convention.

Among her many professional recognitions, Jean was the 1969 national winner of the Agricultural Communications Award from the Fertilizer Institute in cooperation with AAACE, and she received the AHEA Leader Award in 1986.

Jean belonged to the Salem Lutheran Choir, Church Women United, American Business Womens Association, Payne County Retired Educators Association, the OSU Emeriti Association, AARP, AAUW, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Education in journalism and Mass Communication, Agricultural Communicators in Education, Delta Kapp Gamma, the National Association for Retired Federal Employees, the Alpha Monday Study Club, and Kappa Omicron Nu.

Since 1983, Jean participated in 44 Elderhostel trips and has continued her lifelong hobbies of reading, music, and visiting friends and relatives in the United States and Norway.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Mark B. Rhea. Other than distant cousins, Jean has no surviving close relatives.

A memorial service will be held at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stillwater later in the month of August on a date to be determined.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Oklahoma State University Foundation to benefit the Nutritional Sciences Department or to the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church of Stillwater.
Published on July 24, 2018
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