Cleta A. Shipley
October 16, 1925 – January 4, 2021
Cleta A. Shipley passed away on January 4, 2021, at age 95. She was born October 16, 1925, in Marietta, Oklahoma, the elder daughter of Mack Lafayette and Leona Burns Alexander. She came to Clovis with her parents in 1929 at the age of four where her paternal grandfather, her father, and his three brothers established Alexander’s Food Market, which stood on the corner of Seventh and Reid Streets. She lived in Clovis all the rest of her life.
Before Cleta graduated Clovis High School in 1943, she worked at the telephone company as an operator. After graduation, she became a bank teller, and stayed in the banking business for the rest of her working career, eventually working her way up to the position of Assistant Cashier. She married the love of her life, James P. “Bud” Shipley, on April 14, 1944, not long before he left to serve in the US Army Infantry in WWII. After the war, Bud and Cleta bought a dry-land farm 40 miles north of Clovis, about four miles northeast of Rosedale, where they farmed until the early 1960’s.
Cleta was an avid bridge player, enjoying a wide circle of bridge-playing friends and acquaintances over many years. She was an accomplished artist in both oils and watercolors, and many of her works grace the homes of family and friends. She was also a regular golfer at both the Clovis Municipal and Colonial Park golf courses, and was instrumental in getting Bud and her father, Lafayette Alexander, to take up the game. In later years, Cleta became something of a gym rat, going to the Clovis Community College Health and Fitness Center most week days. She also enjoyed spending time with friends at the Senior Meal Site, and with a special Saturday brunch group. Cleta was a long-time and faithful member of the 16th & Pile Church of Christ.
Cleta treasured her last years at Wheatfields Senior Living Center in Clovis, where she renewed old friendships and made many new ones. She truly appreciated the wonderful and loving care by the staff there.
Cleta is survived by son Jim and his wife Carolyn of Los Alamos, NM, three grandsons, Gary (Andrea) of Arvada, CO, Marty (Tracy) of Salt Lake City, and Jim (Dawnmarie) also of Los Alamos; five great-grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband Bud of almost 66 years, her sister Marquita Cornelius (Jack), and her mother and father.
Because of the COVID-19 situation, there will be no service. She will live on in the memories of those who knew and loved her. Arrangements have been made by Steed-Todd Funeral Home, and interment at Lawn Haven Memorial Gardens, at Bud’s side as she always wished, has already occurred.
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