John C. Shipley Sr., retired banker

John C. Shipley Sr.
John C. Shipley Sr.
Posted: January 11, 2014

John C. Shipley Sr., 97, of Voorhees, who retired in 1981 as a vice president of trusts and estates for First Pennsylvania Bank, died Sunday, Jan. 5, at Virtua Voorhees hospital.

Mr. Shipley grew up in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, graduated from Central High School in 1933, attended Princeton University for a year, and earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts in 1937 at the University of Pennsylvania.

After World War II service in the Army Air Corps, helping to coordinate the delivery of materials to bases across the nation, he passed the New Jersey bar exam in 1949.

"It was still in the day when you could take the bar as an apprentice," without having graduated from law school, said his son, John C. Jr.

"He studied with his uncle" William Charlton, "who was a South Jersey lawyer."

From the 1950s until he joined First Pennsylvania in 1963, Mr. Shipley was an assistant to the president of Brown Instrument Co., a South Jersey manufacturer; a personal trust officer for Camden Trust Co.; and a member of an Atlantic City law firm.

In retirement in the 1980s and 1990s, he was of counsel to a Cherry Hill law firm and, until 1995, maintained a practice in trusts and estates from his home office.

Mr. Shipley was an elder for Trinity Presbyterian Church in Cherry Hill in the 1970s and 1980s; a tutor for an after-school program in Camden in the 1990s; and president in the 2000s of the Batsto Citizens Committee, a nonprofit group helping to preserve the historic Pinelands village.

He coached mock-trial teams at Cherry Hill High School East to national competitions in the 1980s and 1990s, coming in third in the National High School Mock Trial Championship in 1989 in Louisville, Ky., his son said.

And he self-published a guide to how to conduct mock trials, based on his years of notes, which attracted buyers from as far as Albania and Guam.

Mr. Shipley was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of Union Veterans, and the American Legion.

Besides his son, Mr. Shipley is survived by his wife, Joanne; daughter Lauren Shipley; and a granddaughter, Sabrina.

Services are to be private.

Donations may be made to the John C. and Joanne K. Shipley Scholarship Fund at Princeton Theological Seminary, 64 Mercer St., Princeton, N.J. 08540, or at

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele


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