Saturday, September 8, 2018

Meet Your Neighbor, Don Shipe

Penned by Francey Petty, Mont Del Neighbor

3 Lombardy Terrace, Mont Del

Don Shipe is most likely not our oldest resident of Mont Del, but he can claim the lengthiest residency in Mont Del.   He and his wife, Jo Anna, wife of 58 years, bought the original farmhouse from Dr. Cross in 1965, who owned all of the dairy farm property in what is now Mont Del Estates.  If you happen to drive past their home, you will notice it is more of a ranch-type older home, set back from the road.   It was the first home in Mont Del and two of our streets are named after Dr. Cross (Crosslands Road and Crosslands Court).   Dr. Cross’  son-in-law, Phil Bradbury, lived here in later years and helped develop Mont  Del. 

One of Don’s hobbies for the past many years (if not working on church finances or politics) has been performing his duties as “Flag Man” in Mont Del.   While serving on the Homeowners Association Board, he initiated a flag project which consists of providing 250 yard flags at cost to distribute during the eight flag display days during the year.  Only in May of this year, did he finally turn the job over to other residents to install them in front of each home and take them down, which is no small job.  

He loves his Lord, his family, his nation and its flag and works to try to influence his neighbors to influence their Congressmen and Senators to become statesmen rather than politicians.  He sees the difference between the two:   a politician hates having his voting record exposed because it is not consistent with his message and his philosophy; whereas a statesman is proud of his voting record because of its integrity and its consistency. 

Don is not shy about being a conservative activist who fervently believes in the Reagan Revolution.   These are three websites he recommends for those interested:
            The Heritage Foundation (
            The Club for Growth       (
            The Republican Study Committee   (

Don had a very unusual business idea in 1986.   It is one of  the oldest dinner delivery services in America:  Entrees  On-Trays.  He started with 12 restaurants and it grew into well over 100.  It had many advantages for him:  no labor, no materials, no overhead and no competition at that time.  He has perhaps jokingly said he didn’t take lunch deliveries because it interfered with his golf and tennis.  

The beginning of Entrees On-Trays has its roots from an unusual encounter.  With his Industrial Engineering degree from A & M, Don started working at Texas Steel. When the company closed their doors after he had worked there 32 years, he distributed resumes, with few good results.   During this time, a pizza delivery man almost ran over him, which made a light bulb turn on.  What if there was a way of delivering better quality food?   He talked over the idea with Mac McIntosh who at that time owned Carriage House and Mac’s House, two well known and prestigious restaurants.  They discussed the fact that the delivered food had to be kept warm and that he could put them on covered trays, although eventually he went to boxes.   After fourteen years, Don sold the company to neighbors Pam and Sam Kalil, who were long time golfing and church buddies. 

You might wonder what his wife, Jo Anna, is doing all the time Don is busy with the above.  She stood by his side for the 58 years mentioned above, being a homemaker, mother of three daughters and also tending to the two horses in their back yard.  (After all, this used to be a dairy farm, so there was plenty of room.)  She enjoyed reading, sewing clothes for her girls, church work with the Christian Orthodox church they attend and doing the needed cooking although that was not her favorite thing to do.  She was very involved in her husband’s business, doing whatever was necessary at the time including changing tires.   

A long marriage is something to be admired in this day and time.  They are to be congratulated for that.   And we thank them both for their service to Mont Del. 


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