Doretha Dillard Shipman was born on September 15, 1925 in a small town called Mull, Arkansas. She was the daughter of Cora Davenport Dillard and Pate Dillard. Doretha attended school at YSHS and also Jackson School of Business.
At 18 years of age, Doretha was married by Brother G.B. Keeter to Leon Shipman on December 27, 1943 in Flippin, Arkansas. They had seven children, four daughters and three sons. They are Elizabeth Ann, Treva, Leon Jr., Wesley, Rebecca, Byron, and Vicki.
Doretha was a homemaker who worked with 4-H in her neighborhood. Most mothers never worked outside the home. They only worked in and around the household, while men were the ones who put "bread on the table". The community's social life centered around the church and school. Because school and social activities were held in the school house, Doretha's childhood was different compared to today's kids.
Many of her hobbies included reading, singing, playing music, writing, handwork, and learning about her family history. Music was an important aspect of Doretha's life. She loved bluegrass, folk, and gospel songs and often performed for people. She also enjoyed spending time with her family and participating in social events in her local community.
Later on in Doretha's life she began to tell everyone about her past experiences, including when she was a child and some major events in her time. One of the most exceptional things she did was presenting programs about the Ozark culture for school children and organizations. By doing this she was awarded the "Arkansas Story Teller" which is a reading literary award. She also received the "Volunteer Community Service" award, "Woman of the Year" award, and the "Outstanding Citizen Award" from YSHS. Doretha and her family were also awarded the "Farm Family of the Year" award.