She married the Rev. Robert Shipman Sr. in 1973, and was his helper and soul mate when he was pastor of the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Cardale, Pa., and Prince of Peace Baptist Church in Philadelphia, which he ran for 23 years and still pastors.
"In both of these places, she was a loving wife, mother, teacher, street evangelist, encourager, adopted mom, women's leader, Sunday School superintendent and teacher, word processor, drama producer and anything else that she was called upon to do," her family said.
It's obvious that Yvonne did everything associated with a church, and did it with a divine spirit that she refined over many years of service to others.
"Sister Shipman was a divine mixture of independence and interdependence, of strength and humility, of clearly discernible individualism and, at the same time, complete submersion into continuing oneness with her husband, of love and faith," her family wrote in a reminiscence.
"Never was there question of her loyalties: love of God, love of her husband, love of her children, love of her family, love of her church."
Yvonne was born in Pittsburgh to Mary Alice Flood. She was raised by her aunt, Nancy French, "who surrounded her with great love and care," her family said.
She attended the Cittone Institute of Mt. Laurel, now Lincoln Institute of Technology, where she received certification in office management. She then joined the Laborers Union.
Besides her husband, she is survived by a son, Robert "BJ" Shipman; two daughters, Pamela Shipman and Shavonne Shipman-Cook; five sisters, Evon Woood-Hart, Yvette Wood, Jackie Wilson, Shamina Frank, Janelle Wilson and Lorna Headley; five brothers, John, Lloyd and Keith Wood, Jermone and Michael Wilson, and three grandchildren.
Services: 10 a.m. tomorrow at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Rankin, Pa. Friends may call at 5 this evening at the church.