The Newman community is saddened by the recent loss of a former professor who touched the lives of many students and colleagues. Ron Shipley, former director of the Newman University Radiologic Technology program, passed away Friday, July 25, at age 61 after a long battle with kidney cancer.
Ron joined Newman in 1995 when the St. Joseph and St. Francis hospitals combined their Radiologic Technology programs and moved them to Newman University. Shortly after, Wesley Hospital did the same. Ron was hired to serve as assistant professor and director of the program, a position he took seriously and worked hard at for the benefit of his students. Ron retired from Newman in August 2013.
During Ron’s tenure the Rad Tech program applied for and gained accreditation through the Joint Committee for Education in Radiologic Technology. The program consistently met and exceeded benchmarks measuring registry pass rates, retention and job placement. Ron’s concern for his students and their learning is a legacy that continues today as his former colleagues credit him with leaving behind a strong, high quality program that will continue to serve the needs of students for years to come. To date the program has produced more than 360 graduates and several classes have boasted a 100% pass rate on their certification exam.
Ron, the man, truly touched the hearts of those with whom he worked. He was a calming soul who loved cats, Chinese food, wild ties, and plane, trains and rockets. He could remember numerous names of actors, actresses and song titles, but phone numbers always eluded him. He had a great sense of humor. He enjoyed a good laugh and his giggle was contagious to those around him.
He leaves behind his wife, Caroline, whom he adored. He showed that love through his outstanding wood-working skills. All she had to do was admire a piece of furniture somewhere and Ron was drawing up plans and warming up his lathe.
Whether by plane, train or rocket, Ron defeated his battle with cancer and took a ride to Heaven, and in so doing he leaves a valuable mark on Newman’s history and, undoubtedly, a void within the Newman community.
Visitation will be from 6 – 8 p.m., Thursday, July 31. The Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, August 1. Both are at Downing & Lahey West Mortuary. He is survived by his wife, Caroline; sister, Sue Miller (Myron) of Haven, KS; niece and nephew, David and Meghan Miller; numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Memorials have been established with Newman University for the Ron Shipley Memorial Radiology Scholarship, 3100 McCormick St., Wichita, KS 67213; and at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, 313 S. Market, Wichita, KS 67202.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: Aug. 4, 2014
The date of Ron Shipley’s death was incorrectly reported in the previous version of this article.