There Are Many Different Ways to be a Family

I don't know anyone who is without love, 
I dont know if you can live without it.
We don't see it.  We just count on its being there
When you have people who love you.
Who care about what happens to you.
Who always want what's best for you.
          That's a family
          That's us
                          Maya Angelou

John & Hattie Shippy

John Henry and Hattie Mae Shippy

Married   October 1943 until January, 1993

John Henry Shippy and Hattie Mae Gibbs met in 1943 while he was training in the military during World War II in Tuskegee, Alabama as part of the ground support crew for the Tuskegee Airmen.  She was teaching school in Rock Hill, South Carolina at the time after graduating from Friendship Junior College.  They were married in Rock Hill in October 1943. They took a train back to Tuskegee after they were married.  She stayed there with him in Tuskegee until it was accepted by the congress of the United States that black men had the intelligence to fly airplanes when it was proven that black men could fly airplanes with the help of the President Roosevelt’s wife Eleanor. The airmen were shipped out to North Africa to fight in the war. She went home to Gaffney and waited for him to return. They had seven children John, Walter, Ernest, James, Harriet, Otis Julie and Charles who died at birth. They were married for 49 years until his death in January 1993.