‘His spirit lives on’

The following letter is about the twin brother of Dr. Joe ( Joseph Dixie) Tipton of Oneonta, who asked that it be published. It was written July 14, 2011, by Chris Tipton of Dallas, Texas, in memory of his father James Charles Tipton (best remembered here as “Jim”).

My father, known by his family and friends as J.C., passed away peacefully this morning at 11:50, surrounded by his wife of 53 years and his two children. He lived a truly wonderful life. He had a huge smile for everyone he met; he would ask you how you were doing because he really wanted to know, listen to your stories intently, and leave you with a feeling that he was the nicest man you’d ever met, and he was. He was a twin brother, a loving son, a patriotic and loyal man, an amazing father, and a doting husband.

He grew up in rural northern Alabama. He served his country for over 25 years, beginning in Korea as an underwater demolition specialist before being accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy as a member of the class of 1958. Upon graduation from Annapolis, J.C. was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force and served around the world – Vietnam, Japan, Canada, Denmark, and various U.S. bases.

His wife Peggy was by his side from their first blinddate in Annapolis in 1957, and they had their 53rd wedding anniversary two days ago, July 11. He and Peggy adopted me and then their daughter Liz while they were stationed in Canada with the Air Force, and boy did we get lucky! He was the best father either of us could have ever wanted. He was confident but humble, hard-working but jovial, strict but fair, and he had our respect. He loved his family with all his heart and we loved him back.

He retired with the family to Dallas in 1977. His second career with Rockwell-Collins in Richardson led him to many of the friends our family still shares today. He was an avid runner, voracious reader, non-stop traveler, and a lover of life.

He lost his battle with dementia but he never lost that smile, even if he had forgotten your name. He would still hold the hands of his grandchildren with a look of pure love in his eyes. His granddaughters both gave him stuffed animals to hold onto when the end drew near, and he clutched them both as he passed on.

His spirit lives on with his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his brother, and his vast network of friends all over the world.

We love you Dad … you will be missed.

Chris Tipton

Dallas, Texas