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Florence C. Shipek 1918-2003

Beloved by the Local History and Native American Community
Recipient 2002 PIP Lifetime Achievement

By Helen Halmay

We are very sorry to report that, just at press-time, we were informed by Carl Shipek that his mother, Florence C. Shipek, 84, died in the hospital on Thursday, January 9, 2003, as the result of a fall in her home in Point Loma. She was a well-known and highly respected historian, specializing in Native American history and culture. Florence was a long-time, active member of the Congress of History, who gave presentations about local Native Americans at many of our history conferences. She received the SOHO People In Preservation "Lifetime Achievement" award in 2002. She was beloved by those who knew her in the many spheres of her life, including history, publishing, and the academic world. Over many decades she was outspoken and determined in defending the local Native American community, and emphasizing their dedication to maintaining their environment.

Florence was born in North Adams, Massachusetts on December 11, 1918. She earned her BA and MA at the University of Arizona and her Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii. She is survived by two sons, Carl Shipek of San Diego and David Shipek, two sisters and three grandchildren. She was very proud of her grandchildren and pleased that she was able to assist in furthering their college educations.

Plans by her family are pending for a celebration of her life. Details were not available as we went to press. Florence was venerated as an elder in the Kumeyaay Nation, which is planning a traditional Native American wake, to remember and honor her.

Reprinted from the January issue of Adelante, News of the Congress of History

2003 - Volume 34, Issue 1

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