Sunday, March 06, 2011

SigEp laments loss of Citation Recipient Bishop Dick Shimpfky

Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity
Photo credit: Rev. Michael Dresbach

Excerpt of 1995 Interview with  Dick Shimpfky and Dave Eskes, author of Our Journey of Brotherhood

Eskes: Dick, what impact has the Fraternity had on your life professionally and privately?

Shimpfky: I can't define my life outside of the Fraternity. The Fraternity is essential to my self-definition, beginning as an undergraduate up to now. It is just part of my fiber. I wouldn't know myself without the Fraternity.

Eskes: What has it provided you?

Shimpfky:  Working for the Fraternity taught me everything I ever need to know about being with people, how to go about that. On the level of values I think the Fraternity was my source of mediated values. Virtue, Diligence and Brotherly Love are how everyone may define them. A pretty good shorthand list of values. Yep, to treat other people decently."

SigEp laments loss of Citation Recipient Bishop Dick Shimpfky

Richard L. Shimpfky, Colorado ’63
, arrived in Richmond from Colorado to join the SigEp staff in 1963. Dick was a giant in a small frame. It was easy to take him for granted until you spent a few minutes with him, and then he brought you into his orbit and it was a great experience. We enjoyed a year together on the staff.

After travelling as a Regional Director for a year his management and leadership abilities were apparent, and he moved to a position on the headquarters staff in Richmond. He was Chapter Services Director, the number two man, until 1967, when he had the calling to the Episcopal priesthood. When Dick informed Executive Director Don Johnson, Kansas '45, of his decision, I had been with Procter and Gamble for only a year. Don took the trip to Cincinnati and hired me to take Dick's place.

So my career with SigEp was a direct result of the Episcopal Church calling Dick. It is my church too so we understood it well.

Dick thrived in the church and was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Camino Real in Northern California in the 1980's, one of the youngest Bishops in the Church and a candidate for presiding Bishop of the Church in the 1990's. He received the Sigma Phi Epsilon Citation for career achievement in 1993. It was a well deserved honor that he humbly accepted.

Dick was a true leader. And he followed the motto of, "Lead, follow or get out of the way…with empathy" He could be controversial but never unloved. He was SigEp National Chaplain for a time and at every occasion was eloquent and unforgettable.

He loved Sigma Phi Epsilon, crediting his undergraduate experience with establishing his foundation and his staff experience with expanding his vision. He was proud that his son Trevor selected Sigma Phi Epsilon at the University of Richmond, Virginia Alpha, as his Fraternity.

What I remember most are Dick's penetrating discussions, his always challenging outlook and his deep care and concern for all he came in contact with.

Our Fraternity will miss its wonderful SigEp Brother, Bishop Richard L Shimpfky.

Chuck White, Western Michigan
Former President
SigEp Educational Foundation

Read an obituary about Bishop Shimpfky. 
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