The Austin Chronicle

Sally Shipman, Good Samaritan

By Michael King, June 8, 2007, News

On Friday, June 1, Austinites said farewell to former City Council Member (1983-1990) Sally Shipman, who passed away in Houston of leukemia on Monday, May 28. A memorial service was held at University Presbyterian Church, where the Rev. San Williams presided over a congregation of several hundred, including many City Hall staffers and Austinites who had worked with Shipman on neighborhood issues or who knew her through her work at the church. Williams said she had been the quintessential Good Samaritan, who answered the question, "Who is our neighbor?" with a life of serving others, a "selfless, other-directed love."

Shipman's daughter Susan delivered the family's eulogy, calling her mother "a remarkable woman who reached and impacted so many others" and whose "best accomplishment" was her three children. Susan recalled her mother as a "swim teacher to almost all the children in Tarrytown, a Camp Fire girl, and a Melody Maid," who inspired all her children to be better people and whose central lesson, in words and in life, was to "never, never, never give up." Shipman began her public work as a neighborhood organizer, went on to the Planning Commission, eventually the City Council, and mayor pro tem. "She considered government a tool," said Susan, "to change the world for the better."

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