LaurelHurst resident turns 102 years old

Published 5:58 pm Monday, August 13, 2012

Ross Tipton

Ross Tipton turned 102 years old on Aug. 5. He was born Aug. 5, 1910, one of six children and grew up in the small town of Brazil, Ind. He attended Staunton High School, where he loved to play the trumpet and often played solo concerts, “because there wasn’t a band in those days.”
Ross related that he walked to school and was barefoot from April 1 until the first frost.
“The reason for that was that shoes were repaired with tacks and the tacks would work loose and poke you in the foot,” Tipton said.
After high school, Tipton furthered his education at Indiana State, majoring in mathematics, chemistry, physics and music.
“At that time there were fewer than 1,500 students – today there are more than 40,000. Can you believe it?” he said.
After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he continued his studies and earned a master’s degree at Purdue University. In 1937, he met and married Helen Hendricks. They had two children: Mary Catherine and Thomas Hendricks. During that time, Tipton worked as a school superintendent for Indiana schools.
He started the first band in a high school anywhere around ­– a band he said was “something out of this world.” They played at all the dances and ice cream socials, he said.
Tipton enlisted in the military during WWII. He was a Lieutenant JG radio officer on an APA troop transport.
“I made five crossings of the Pacific and was in Okinawa three times,” he said.
After serving his time in the Navy, Ross and Helen moved to Europe. He worked for the military department of defense and taught the children of servicemen. They lived in Turkey, Holland, France and Germany.
Once they left Europe, they moved stateside, where Tipton worked as the assistant superintendent of schools at Camp Lejeune until he retired.
Tipton has three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He and Helen, married 75 years now, moved to Polk County to be closer to their daughter and family.
“You know, I’ve had a really great life!” he said.
– article submitted
by Jennifer Thompson

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