Norma Shipton was detail-oriented, a piano teacher for 70 years


Norma Lorraine Shipton, of Rockton, IL age 90, was a member of Beth Eden United Methodist Church in Rockford, IL for over 60 years. She served as the church secretary for more than 20 years under two pastors and also as a substitute organist. She was a piano teacher for 70 years and taught right up to the beginning of the COVID epidemic. Norma played the piano at church in many special musical numbers.

N0rma passed away peacefully at her home on October 22, 2022 surrounded by the love and comforting care of her family. 

The former Norma Kloepping was born to Martin and Irma (Hatton) Kloepping in Nora, IL on January 20, 1932. After graduating from Stockton Community High School in 1949, she married the love of her life, Arnold C. Shipton, on March 11, 1950. They then moved to Woodbine, IL, where she and her husband had two sons, Jeffrey & Ryan. In 1961 the family moved to Rockton. 

Norma was a detail-oriented and organized woman. In her early years she was the bookkeeper for the Woodbine Creamery, the family-owned business which they owned from 1950-1960.  At Beth Eden, she organized, led and participated in numerous groups. Her passion was performing in church dramas, during which she became one of the most loved main stars (Miss Myra) and devoted many hours overseeing the Bethlehem Market Place.

Norma loved to be outdoors, tending to her yard, garden and feeding the birds. She liked camping and boating with family and wintering in Florida. She was an avid seamstress, and loved to bake and play games with family. Her life's delights included working on word search puzzles, eating chocolate, drinking root beer and swapping jokes. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Arnold; her son Ryan; her parents, Irma & Martin; her brother David; and her sister JoAnn

Norma is survived by her son Jeffrey (Victoria), her brother Richard (Doris), daughter-in-law Sheryl, four grandchildren; Mark (Melissa), Lindsay (Derek Ferguson), Erin and Robyn, seven great-grandchildren, former daughter-in-law Kristy, former granddaughter in-law Maren, a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. 

Funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at Beth Eden United Methodist Church, 3201 Huffman Blvd, Rockford, with Reverend Brett Todd officiating. A visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until time of service. Burial will be in Rockton Township Cemetery, Rockton, IL. Memorials may be made to Beth Eden United Methodist for the music ministries. 

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